Despite Trumpeting ‘Threat’ To National Security, White House Refuses To Call Senator Holding Up DOD Confirmations

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden has yet to contact the senator single-handedly holding up Department of Defense (DOD) confirmations, despite the administration labeling the blockade as a “threat to our national security.”

For months, the White House has criticized Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville for holding up confirmations to the DOD. Tuberville pledged in February to continue the hold until the Pentagon revokes its new policy of providing funding for military personnel to travel out of state for elective abortions, arguing the policy circumvents Congress. The hold stops military nominations and promotions from being approved by unanimous consent in large numbers. (RELATED: GOP Senator Blocking Pentagon Promotions Over Abortion Policy)

Tuberville has said he’s open to having a call with Biden to discuss the unprecedented hold on the DOD, but that the White House has had “zero” communication with him.

It’s “frustrating that we haven’t heard from the White House while they’re continuing to attack him in the media and in public when they’re not willing to come to the table and compromise or pick up the phone and call him,” a spokesperson for Tuberville told the Daily Caller.

The alleged lack of initiative from the White House is “exhibit A of their hypocrisy,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Democrats “want this to continue to be an issue.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 10: Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway at the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The White House has refused to say whether Biden would call the senator and has dodged repeated questions on the issue.

In June, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the hold is a “threat to our national security” but that she couldn’t “speak” to conversations between Biden and Tuberville.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said Tuberville is “intentionally damaging America’s military readiness in the name of selfish grandstanding and extreme politics,” but refused to say whether Biden would be open to a phone call with the senator.

“For months, Senator Tuberville has not only actively undermined our national security, but injected uncertainty into the lives of hundreds of military families whose moves are being impacted and don’t know where their kids are going to school or where their spouses can work,” Bates added in a statement. “Military families are not pawns. His scorched earth gamesmanship is also depriving the Marine Corps of a Senate-confirmed commandant for the first time in over a century and halting promotions for deserving service members, with more harm cascading through each branch of the armed services every single day. Senator Tuberville needs to listen to his colleagues in both parties and put his country ahead of himself.”

If the White House is “really worried about readiness,” they would have contacted him, Tuberville said Monday on CNN.

Tuberville on Tuesday floated that the White House doesn’t want to address him directly because the Democrats are “afraid” of having a vote on abortion.

“They’re [Democrats are] afraid to have it because it’s an election year coming up. They know they’d have some bad votes. This is not about protecting the military. This is not about doing what’s right for the American citizen. It’s about the Democrats making sure they are giving everything possible to their Senators that are up for reelection next year that they don’t have a bad vote on abortion because some of them would have to vote against this policy, and it’s all about power,” Tuberville said on “John Solomon Reports.”