Several GOP senators led by Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan shamelessly took to the Senate floor on Wednesday evening to attack Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s protest of the Pentagon’s use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to subsidize service members’ abortion.
“I’m as pro-life as they come. I strongly disagree with what [Defense] Secretary Austin [and] President Biden have done with their politicization of the military on a whole host of fronts, including the abortion policy, which I think is illegal,” Sullivan said before explaining why he thinks Tuberville should abandon his protest of the policy.
The Alaska senator was joined in his attack by GOP Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Todd Young of Indiana, and Mitt Romney of Utah.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced back in February that the Pentagon would financially cover abortion-related travel expenses for service members and their dependents. To prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to subsidize the killing of unborn babies, Tuberville, using his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, initiated a protest that slow-walks military promotions requiring Senate confirmation. The Alabama senator is forcing the committee to vote individually on each nomination rather than voting “en masse on large numbers of nominations.”
Despite facing hysterical attacks from congressional Democrats, former intel officials, and high-ranking military members, Tuberville has said he will maintain his stance until the Pentagon revokes the abortion policy.
Instead of directing the majority of his fire at Biden and Austin, Sullivan used his opening remarks to lambast Tuberville’s protest while regurgitating Democrat claims that the holds are harming “military readiness.” He also appeared to suggest that Tuberville’s demonstration — not Biden’s horrific leadership or the Pentagon’s promotion of divisive neo-Marxist ideology — is contributing to the military’s ongoing retention problem.
But Sullivan didn’t just use his speaking time to trash Tuberville. He also dismissed the fact that numerous Biden nominees have espoused radical left-wing views.
“The idea that some of these officers are supposedly ‘woke’ or desk jockeys, it’s ridiculous,” Sullivan said.
His statement is false. Numerous Biden nominees have openly promoted ideologies such as so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” or DEI, a poisonous leftist framework that dismisses merit and discriminates based on characteristics such as skin color and sex. In fact, several of the nominees Sullivan and Co. are attempting to confirm have openly supported these ideologies.
Among them is Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife — who, after George Floyd’s death, penned a memo claiming U.S. service members are “naive” to believe that so-called “institutional racism” and “unconscious bias” don’t affect the military. In his memo, Slife further said it’s important for the military to “listen to other perspectives and accept them as valid, but perhaps incomplete.” He added that he is “limited in [his] perspective” and described how he’s a “middle-aged white man who grew up in a middle class family in a predominantly white area … [and has] been in ‘the majority’ in almost every organization [he’s] ever been in.”
The aforementioned GOP senators are also attempting to confirm Stephen Whiting, a Space Force lieutenant general who previously removed a service member from duty for speaking out against DEI efforts and Marxism in the military. As The Federalist previously reported, Whiting “relieved” then-Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier from duty after the latter discussed the military’s embrace of Marxism while promoting his book on a podcast interview.
When given the chance to respond to his colleagues’ criticisms, Tuberville blasted the Pentagon for its policy and highlighted the importance of “stand[ing] for the most vulnerable of our society: the unborn.”
“This is a policy that is illegal and immoral. This is about life. And it’s also about the rule of law,” Tuberville said. “The only thing in this world I honor more than the military is the Constitution. We all swore to uphold the Constitution. … I cannot simply sit idly by while the Biden administration injects politics in our military from the White House and spends taxpayers’ dollars on abortion.”
“The only power that a senator in the minority has is to put a hold on a nomination,” Tuberville continued. “Holds on nominations happen all the time. Holds on military nominations have happened many, many, many times before. Typically, they don’t last this long because administrations will work with a senator until the issue is resolved. That has not happened this time. Zero negotiation. Abortion is the most important thing to the Democrats, and they won’t negotiate.”
Tuberville reaffirmed his commitment to life and his protest. He also expressed support for the Senate’s individual confirmation of nominees, a position he has previously held.