Premieres 12/1 at 8pm ET
Watch exclusively on DailyWire+
A Republican senator is showing no signs of backing down from a stand against a Pentagon abortion policy that is delaying military promotions, even with the U.S. Marines going without a confirmed leader for the first time in a century.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who is protesting the Department of Defense (DoD) allowing female service members expense-paid travel and up to three weeks leave for an elective abortion, appeared unfazed as Gen. David Berger steps down as commandant of the Marine Corps at the end of his four-year term.
“I’m not going to change my approach,” Tuberville told CNN in an interview that aired on Monday. The senator said Gen. Eric Smith, the branch’s No. 2 official who is President Joe Biden’s pick to formally take over command, has already taken on the top position in an acting capacity.
U.S. Marine Corps without a confirmed head for first time in 160 years, and Pentagon says acting head will have to do two jobs.
Tommy Tuberville, who is holding up more than 250 military promotions over Pentagon's abortion policy, told me: "I'm not going to change my approach" pic.twitter.com/oPVZeEv4XY
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 10, 2023
“He’s assumed the duties already. It’s not like it’s void of a position, it’s just the name,” Tuberville said.
The “hold” on general and flag officer promotions blocks the Democrat-controlled Senate from approving the nominations quickly and in batches through a “unanimous consent” agreement. Tuberville stressed that the Senate could still hold a vote to approve individual nominations, a process he said would be “very easy to do.”
But a Senate aide for the Democrats told CNN that it would take months to get through all the nominations in such a way and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued Smith “deserves Senate action without political obstruction that has nothing to do with his command.”
The Pentagon has urged Tuberville to lift his hold while raising concerns about readiness. In comments reported by CNN, Berger said Smith will be deprived of a second-in-command because of the situation.
“He can’t do both jobs at the same time, nor can anyone else because they don’t have the authorities because all the promotions are held up,” Berger added. “So he’s going to have to do his job in a very different way than I was able to, because I could travel, he was here, he could travel, I was here. Now only one of him, so it affects the way he does his job.”
Noting that the DoD’s “authority to fund abortions is governed by 10 U.S.C. 1093, which limits abortions to cases of rape, incest, or pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother,” Tuberville has said he will not lift his hold until Defense Secretary Loyd Austin suspends the “illegal” policy that came in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade or there is a law change.
His office announced that Tuberville has the support of several conservative leaders, including former Trump administration official Ben Carson, Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts, and March for Life Action president Jeanne Mancini.