In a recent exchange at the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) boldly called out Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) for his months-long hold on military promotions, emphasizing the detrimental impact it has on our Marines and their families. Senator Duckworth raised concerns about the absence of a Commandant of the Marine Corps, a position vacant for the first time in over a century due to Senator Tuberville’s actions. This move not only disrupts military leadership but also poses a significant threat to our national security and military readiness.
Video of Sen. Duckworth:
Senator Duckworth, herself a combat veteran, served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In stark contrast, Senator Tuberville has not served a single day in uniform. Yet, despite his lack of military experience, he persists in imposing his personal political agenda on the Department of Defense.
“Our entire military readiness is slowly grinding to a halt, and it is going to get worse every single day because Senator Tuberville has injected politics into this,” stated Senator Duckworth emphatically. She further clarified that the Department of Defense (DoD) statute clearly prohibits the funding of abortions by the DoD and emphasized that the military is not providing abortions in this instance.
Who suffers the most from Senator Tuberville’s hold on military promotions? Senator Duckworth underlined the impact on the lowest-ranking servicemembers, particularly the youngest women in the military and the spouses of younger male servicemembers. These individuals often face the challenge of requesting passes from their Sergeants to leave their duty stations and seek necessary healthcare.
“What Senator Tuberville is telling them is, ‘I don’t care about you. Thank you for your service, but you cannot take care of your own healthcare or your spouse’s healthcare,’” Senator Duckworth declared, highlighting the disregard shown by Senator Tuberville towards servicemembers and their families.
Furthermore, Senator Duckworth elucidated the misconceptions surrounding the DoD’s role in providing reproductive healthcare. The DoD does not fund abortions but instead allows servicemembers to travel to a different state, if required, to access the reproductive healthcare they need, whether it be abortions, IVF, or IUDs. This flexibility is crucial for those who may otherwise experience limited access to such services within their assigned state.
It is essential to understand the significant repercussions of Senator Tuberville’s actions. The disruption caused by the hold on military promotions has real-world consequences. Officers and their families face challenges, including upheaval in their education, employment, and financial stability. The impact on military readiness is severe, as the entire system slowly grinds to a halt.
Senator Duckworth concluded by highlighting the blatant politicization of this issue, specifically by Senator Tuberville. “If there’s anybody that’s injecting politics into this, it’s Senator Tuberville who is fundraising,” she asserted. It is alarming that Senator Tuberville is using his obstruction to solicit funds, capitalizing on his hold on military leadership, thus compromising the national security of the United States.