Tuberville, most famous as the former Auburn head football coach, has ended an 11-month “hold” on military promotions in response to a Department of Defense abortion policy which he says violates federal law.
The new policy, approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, pays time off and travel expenses for military personnel and their dependents who are seeking an abortion but are stationed in states where state laws make it difficult to do so. The controversial policy was introduced after Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer in a landmark ruling that said abortion laws belong within state legislatures.
“I said in writing that if they impose this new policy, that I would put a hold on senior nominations in the military," Tuberville recently explained. "That's the only power that we have in the minority to get the attention of the majority here in the Senate."
Tuberville has now backed down because that only power available for the Senate minority was about to be taken away from him. Frustrated over Tuberville's actions, the Senate Rules Committee has since passed a resolution that would allow the Senate Majority Leader to call for a single up or down vote on a backlog of promotions – more than 400 – that have been held in limbo by Tuberville.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week he would bring the resolution to the floor for a vote. He would have needed nine Republican votes to pass it, and with some Republicans beginning to speak out against Tuberville, the resolution was expected to pass.
Sen. Tuberville has been accused of hurting military readiness, and was even blamed for an overworked officer who suffered a heart attack, but the “holds” only meant military promotions could not be approved in bulk and instead would require individual debate and votes. That’s something Majority Leader Chuck Schumer - himself an outspoken advocate for abortion rights - had refused to do except for a few exceptions.
Reacting to Sen. Tuberville's controversial stance, and now his defeat by Senate rules, former army general Jerry Boykin said the Alabama senator set an example for others on Capitol Hill.
“He stood his ground," Boykin, a retired lieutenant general, told the "Washington Watch" program on Wednesday. "Ultimately it didn’t go his way, but he set an example for what every person on that hill ought to be, and they’re not. That was made clear too."
It is believed that the Pentagon’s pro-abortion travel policy has been used by troops no more than 12 times. However, it wasn’t until August that it instructed the military to record data on troops seeking paid leave and travel reimbursement for abortion services.
The number is not important, Boykin insists, but the principled stand is important considering a federal law is being broken just as Tuberville has alleged.
“What’s next? What law do we violate next with no penalty?" Boykin demanded. "We have to stand now, and that’s what Tuberville was doing, standing on something that he believes in. He made a very clear case for why he did what he did, and I personally think he’s a hero,” Boykin told show host Tony Perkins.
On the issues of military recruitment and military readiness, Boykin says the public was being misled by claims the United States military could not go to war without military promotions.
"That’s not the case," he explained. "You don’t have to wear four stars to command in a four-star organization, and it’s done repeatedly. I am one of those people who was in a three-star job before I had my third star."
What is also frustrating to witness, the retired army general said, is for Democrats and the Biden administration to pretend they are concerned about military readiness when the armed forces is consumed with mandatory left-wing instruction rather than training for a future war.