A group of Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, has called upon Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to use his authority as the head of the Senate GOP and take action to end Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s “reckless hold” on military nominations.
In a letter obtained by NBC News, the senators expressed deep concern for the stability of the Armed Services and national security, urging McConnell to protect the readiness of the military.
Sen. Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, has been obstructing the promotion of hundreds of generals and admirals, thereby jeopardizing national security.
His opposition stems from a Defense Department policy that covers travel expenses for service members seeking out-of-state abortions.
The signatories of the letter, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Jacky Rosen, Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine, Mark Kelly, Tammy Duckworth, and Sen. Angus King, an independent caucusing with Democrats, all serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside Tuberville.
They implored McConnell “to take stronger action to resolve the situation.”
While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed openness to providing Tuberville with a standalone vote on the abortion policy, he placed the responsibility on Senate Republicans to find a solution. McConnell’s press secretary mentioned that “Democrats should recognize their majority status and control over the floor.”
In the past, McConnell criticized Tuberville’s hold but was reluctant to disrupt the process for holds in the Senate.
However, the concerned Democrats emphasized that McConnell, as the leader of the Republican Conference, should hold his colleagues accountable when they recklessly disrupt the Senate’s order.
The Democratic senators emphasized the urgency of the situation, calling Tuberville’s continuation of the stalemate “reckless, dangerous, and must end” for the sake of national safety and security.