A freshman Republican congressman is weighing in on why he signed a letter supporting Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in his efforts to overturn the Pentagon’s policy of subsidizing abortions for members of the military by holding up the promotions of high-ranking military officers.
“Sen. Tuberville displayed tremendous courage with his willingness to stand in the fire against the Biden [administration’s] politicization of our nation’s military,” Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “The Department of Defense is charged with defending American lives, and the Biden [administration’s Department of Defense] is contradicting this mission with its pro-abortion agenda.”
“I am proud to stand with Sen. Tuberville to fight this disgusting agenda in defense of life,” Crane said.
Tuberville has spent months fighting against the Defense Department’s woke agenda by blocking the Senate’s approval of nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers.
The letter, which was first shared with The Daily Signal, is addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. More than 3,000 veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces signed the letter expressing their support for Tuberville and calling on the Pentagon to rescind its abortion policy.
Crane and three other members of Congress, Reps. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.; Ronny Jackson, R-Texas; and Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., joined state lawmakers, national leaders, and thousands of everyday Americans who have served their country in the military in signing the letter.
“Sen. Tuberville is threatening our national security with his political showmanship and risking our military readiness by depriving our armed forces of leadership and harming military families,” National Security Council spokesperson Adam Hodge told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “We urge him to drop his holds immediately.”
The letter supporting Tuberville came after Schumer touted a May 4 letter signed by seven former defense secretaries, including Mark Esper and James Mattis, condemning the hold on the promotions.
“The blanket hold on the promotion or reassignment of these senior uniformed leaders is harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security,” the former defense secretaries wrote. “Because the Senate is required to confirm every general and flag officer for promotion or for reassignment, this practice has traditionally been a pro-forma exercise, except where there have been specific concerns about individual nominees, which were then handled separately.”
The former defense secretaries also wrote, “We, therefore, strongly urge the Senate to ensure the continued readiness of the U.S. armed forces by lifting the blanket hold and promptly voting to confirm these uniformed nominees.”
In addition to the second letter’s signatories backing Tuberville, numerous Republican senators have also expressed their support for the Alabama senator.
“Sen. [Josh] Hawley opposes the DOD abortion policy and supports all efforts to overturn it,” a spokesperson for Hawley, R-Mo., told The Daily Signal in an email.
Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., also expressed support for Tuberville’s efforts.
“I support Sen. Tuberville’s principled stand,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “For decades, Democrats and Republicans joined together to forbid federal funds from being used for abortion. To allow taxpayer-funded abortions would be a disservice to all those who have a sincere religious objection.”
“The Biden administration is radically pro-abortion. I’m glad to see Senator Tuberville take a courageous stance against their illegal action to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for members of our military,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement.
“The Pentagon is unlawfully declaring war on the unborn. Their policy dodges congressional intent and cannot stand,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “I share Sen. Tuberville’s desire to overturn this policy and am leading the Senate’s effort to undo it through legislation.”
Republican Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Susan Collins of Maine have previously expressed concern over Tuberville’s efforts, Politico reported. McConnell is also opposed to Tuberville’s efforts, The Associated Press reported.
Other Senate Republicans who have previously expressed their support for Tuberville’s efforts include Sens. JD Vance of Ohio, John Cornyn of Texas, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Todd Young of Indiana, and John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota.
The Defense Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey contributed to this report.
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