Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) criticized Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Tuesday for his decision to block the advancement of top military officials due to a Department of Defense (DoD) abortion policy. Warren spoke on the Senate floor, shedding light on Tuberville’s extreme actions against a policy that supports service members who need to travel for an abortion.
Warren explained that while senators occasionally object to individual nominations to express opposition or demand answers, Tuberville’s actions are far more drastic. “He is blocking every single top military leader from advancing indefinitely,” she said. “He’s snared all 184 top-level service members who are currently slated for advancement, and he stopped every single one of them dead in their tracks.”
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Tuberville has other avenues to influence DoD policy. Warren noted that Tuberville is blocking 184 military promotions due to his disagreement with the DoD policy that aids service members and their families in accessing needed healthcare, specifically travel to access abortion care. “Now, I disagree with the senator on that issue, but if he wants to press for votes to reverse DOD’s health care policies, he can do that,” Warren said, emphasizing that this is how democracy works.
Tuberville, however, refused to back down. He insisted that the issue was not about abortion but about a “tyrannical executive branch” trampling on the Senate’s role. He mentioned that he had warned Secretary Lloyd Austin about changing the policy and that he would hold up high-level nominees if Austin proceeded with the change. Despite Tuberville’s objections, Secretary Austin implemented the policy in February, and Tuberville is now sticking to his word.