‘Not going to let our military be politicised,’ says Republican delaying nominees over abortion | Republicans

A Republican senator holding up more than 100 nominations over Pentagon policy on abortion claimed: “I’m not going to let our military be politicised.”

Tommy Tuberville, from Alabama, was speaking on Tuesday at a hearing staged by the armed services committee.

The Department of Defense covers expenses and leave needs for troops who have to travel to obtain an abortion, a procedure it allows in cases of rape or incest or if the health of the mother is in danger.

In protest of that policy, announced last October, Tuberville is objecting to the quick processing of more than 150 civilian nominees and senior officer promotions.

Tuberville’s “hold” means each nomination or promotion must be voted on individually, rather than in time-saving batches.

At the Tuesday hearing, the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said the delay could affect readiness to fight.

Citing threats from Russia, China and Iran, the retired general said: “There are a number of things happening globally that indicate that we could be in a contest on any one given day.”

“Not approving the recommendations for promotions actually creates a ripple effect through the force that makes us far less ready than we need to be.”

“The effects are cumulative and it will affect families. It will affect kids going to schools because they won’t be able to change their duty station. It’s a powerful effect and will impact on our readiness.”

Austin said: “I really implore you to reconsider and allow our nominations to move forward. It will make a significant difference for our force.”

Republicans scored a longed-for victory last year, when the conservative-dominated supreme court overturned the right to abortion, which was protected for 49 years.

Democrats seized on a potent campaign issue but the decision emboldened conservative states to pass draconian bans.

Austin said: “Almost one in five of our troops is women. And they don’t get a chance to choose where they’re stationed. So almost 80,000 of our women are stationed in places where they don’t have access to non-covered reproductive healthcare.”

Tuberville said: “Now my colleagues on the left think this abortion issue is good for a campaign, and that’s what this shouldn’t be about. I’m not going to let our military be politicised.”

He also said: “I want to be clear on this: my hold has nothing to do with the supreme court’s decision to the access of abortion. This is about not forcing the taxpayers of this country to fund abortions.”

On Monday, 36 Senate Democrats and two independents – Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine – sent an open letter to Austin, asking him to stand firm.

“Abortion restrictions and bans only force service members to travel farther to states that have not restricted abortion,” the senators wrote, “further compromising both the financial security of the service members and military readiness.

“Our service members should not be forced to needlessly risk their personal health and safety for routine healthcare simply because they pledged to protect and defend our nation.”

On Tuesday, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat and Senate majority leader, rebuked Tuberville directly. The Republican, Schumer said, risked “permanently politicising the confirmation of military personnel.

“… I can’t think of a worse time for a [pro-Trump] Republican to pull a stunt like this, as threats against American security and against democracy are growing all around the world.

“I urge members of his own party to prevail on the senator from Alabama to stand down in this unprecedented and dangerous move and allow these critical, nonpolitical, nonpartisan military nominees to go through.”

( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

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