Biden accuses Tuberville of endangering US security

I’d be willing to talk to him if I thought there was any chance he would change his ridiculous stance on this. He is jeopardizing the security of the United States with what he is doing, President Joe Biden said during a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, when asked about Senator Tuberville’s position by CNN.

By Arlette Saenz and Kaitlan Collins | Cnn

President Joe Biden said Thursday that Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville is irresponsible and is jeopardizing national security by blocking military promotions over his objections to the Department of Defense’s reproductive health policies.

I’d be willing to talk to him if I thought there was any chance he would change his ridiculous stance on this. He is jeopardizing the security of the United States with what he is doing, Biden said during a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, when asked by CNN about Tuberville’s whereabouts.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s office attempted to arrange a call between the secretary and Tuberville Thursday, but the Alabama senator’s office declined the opportunity, saying it did not have time for a call Thursday or this weekend. a senior defense official told CNN. Tuberville had complained that Austin had not tried to contact him about his suspension of military appointments to protest the Pentagon’s reproductive health policies.

A defense official told CNN that Austin and Tuberville finally spoke at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Tuberville has blocked hundreds of military promotions as a way to protest the Pentagon’s new policies on reproductive health care, which among other things included a travel allowance for service members who have to go out of state to receive an abortion. As of July 7, the taking of Tuberville has impacted 265 senior military officers, including high-profile roles such as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commandant of the Marine Corps.

An internal assessment put together by the Pentagon and obtained by CNN says the seizures concern the families of 84 awaiting officers, including officers who paid out-of-pocket to relocate their families, military spouses who quit their jobs preempting new assignments and children unable to enroll in new schools.

The suspension disrupts what is typically a routine process of confirming hundreds of military appointments simultaneously known as unanimous consent. With Tuberville holding, the Senate would have to bring each nomination to the floor for an individual vote, which could take months and hundreds of hours to complete.

I never remember that happening, ever. It’s totally irresponsible in my view, Biden said.

Tuberville insisted earlier this week in an interview with CNN that he’s not blocking confirmations and that the Senate has had plenty of time to accept candidates. Tuberville hasn’t backed down from maintaining his block on nominations as he protests the Department of Defense’s reproductive health policies, arguing there is no impact on national security and no risk to US military readiness.

Speaking to CNN’s Manu Raju after Biden’s comments, Tuberville said, “It doesn’t sound like anyone is going to sit down and visit and fix this.” Sounds like someone who wants to argue, and I’m not here to argue.

Tuberville added: There is no chance of my position changing unless we sit down and visit. I mean, this is what you do here, presumably, I’m sure he’s done it during his career as a senator but he doesn’t want to do it, we’re not going to do it. Well, keep it up.

Biden said he expected the Republican party to resist taking Tuberville and do something about it.

I am confident that the mainstream Republican Party does not support what he is doing, but they must stand up and be counted. That’s how it ends, he said.

Tuberville said bluntly that wasn’t going to happen.

Well, that’s not going to happen, Tuberville told Raju. You know, that. I already said it won’t happen. I’m doing this for, not the Republican Party. I am doing this for Republicans, Democrats and citizens of this country. I don’t just do it for Republicans. I’m doing it for the Constitution.

CNN reported in June that some of Tuberville’s colleagues tried to talk to him behind the scenes about alternatives. Several GOP senators, including Republican Armed Services Committee top Roger Wicker, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst spoke with Tuberville, careful not to deploy a lobbying campaign, but instead understand what do you intend to achieve.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last Thursday, Austin echoed Biden’s thoughts.

This is a national security issue. It’s a readiness issue. And we shouldn’t fool ourselves. I think any member of the Senate Armed Services Committee knows that, Austin said Thursday in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer following the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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