Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley criticized Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama for his ongoing blockade of military promotions from receiving Senate confirmation, according to comments she made on Tuesday.
Tuberville has currently imposed a “hold” on the confirmations of all presidential nominees to general and flag officer positions in the U.S. military in protest against the Department of Defense’s(DOD) policy of reimbursing servicemembers for travel expenses to abort a pregnancy. Haley called the policy “stressful for the servicemember because their life is on hold,” in remarks made on The Hugh Hewitt Show. (RELATED: DeSantis Backs Tommy Tuberville’s Hold On Military Nominations Over Pentagon Abortion Policy)
“This just goes to show how messed up our country is … there’s got to be other ways to go about doing this,” Haley told Hewitt. Haley suggested that Tuberville’s block would adversely affect recruitment levels, saying that “in a time where our recruitment is 25% down and, you know, 80% of those recruits typically come from military families, and military parents are telling their kids not to go into the military, it’s because they don’t feel like anybody’s got the military’s back.”
“They look at the fact that they’re, you know, dangling these promotions out there and using them as fodder,” Haley chided Tuberville, asking rhetorically, “have we gotten so low that this is how we have to go about stopping it?”
Tuberville’s hold has led to over 265 senior military officers being blocked from promotions, which requires Senate confirmation above the rank of O-7 — referring to brigadier-general in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps or Space Force, and rear admiral (lower half) in the Navy.
As a result, several high-ranking general officer positions, such as commandant of the Marine Corps and chief of staff of the Army, whose appointees are members of the senior Joint Chiefs of Staff panel, have been filled by others in an acting capacity. President Joe Biden and many Democratic and Republican members of Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have criticized Tuberville for his hold.
Biden said that the hold was causing “[a] growing cascade of damage and disruption, all because one senator from Alabama … [will not] lift the blockade over the Pentagon policy offering servicemen and women … access to reproductive healthcare rights they deserve,” in remarks he delivered on Jul. 27. Biden has refused to rescind the DOD policy, citing his support for abortion and the policy’s value in retaining servicemembers.
Recently, Biden canceled the planned move of the U.S. Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama — Tuberville’s home state — from Colorado.
Other Republicans have taken a different view than Haley’s on the issue and supported Tuberville, such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Former President Donald Trump has remained silent on the matter.
Conservative anti-abortion groups, meanwhile, have supported the hold. “We are grateful to Senator Tuberville and all our allies working on behalf of the American people to expose and stop the administration’s radical abortion agenda,” wrote Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of SBA Pro-Life America, in comments to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“She seems to regret that this is necessary … but does not dispute that it is indeed necessary,” a spokesperson for Tuberville told the DCNF.
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