DeSantis Backs Senator Who Is Blocking Military Promotions

Ron DeSantis official campaign photo, US Sen. Tommy Tuberville official Senate photo

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed support for Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s one-man blockade of US military promotions

Since March, Tuberville exercised a privilege that allows any single senator to place a hold on a nomination, except he put a blanket hold on all military general officer nominations and said he would not lift it until the policy is rescinded, according to the AP.

Tuberville’s protest is in response to a new policy instituted by the Biden administration that allows active military personnel and their partners to be reimbursed if they cross state lines to seek abortion or other forms of reproductive health care.

During the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Fall Banquet at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, DeSantis, a former member of the US Navy, was asked for his thoughts on Tuberville’s actions.

“I support what he’s doing,” DeSantis said. “First of all, what the Defense Department is doing is outside the law; they are breaking, violating the law by funding abortion tourism with tax dollars. So when agencies do that, the Congress has to stand up and push back against it.”

Abortion tourism is a right-wing term for people who travel to have abortions. Those who do travel for abortions because they can’t access the care in their own states. In the US, 21 states have some kind of abortion restriction.

Republicans across the country have called for penalizing those who help people travel for abortions. The Alabama attorney general recently argued in court that the state has the authority to penalize those who help people travel for abortions.

According to the AP, Tuberville’s hold is actively harming the military. 

“We’re on the fringe of losing a generation of champions,” Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, the head Air Combat Command, told reporters this week at a defense conference in Maryland. Kelly said he’s talking to his junior officers, many with families, and they are “people who will take a bullet for the nation, the Constitution.” But when it comes to dragging their family through this, “there’s a red line.”

The AP reports that six months into Tuberville’s hold, 315 military officers are now affected, and the impact cuts deeper in some services. In the small and still growing U.S. Space Force, at least eight general officers’ nominations are on hold — but that’s one third of all of its 25 senior officers. In the Marine Corps, at least 18 general officers among the Corps cadre of 88 can’t move to their new commands, or are being stretched too thin by having to cover the duties of their current job while also being responsible for the vacancy they cannot officially fill.

The AP contributed to this report.


by Ty Rushing

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