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Tuberville to maintain hold on military nominees over Pentagon abortion policy

Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville's opposition to the Pentagon's abortion policy has led to blocked military nominations, leaving key leadership positions vacant.

Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville refuses to release his hold on military nominations due to his opposition to the Pentagon’s abortion policy — which covers some expenses for Department of Defense (DoD) personnel — leaving hundreds of key leadership positions unfilled.

“I warned the Pentagon that I would hold their most senior nominees if they broke the law,” Tuberville said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. 

“They did it anyway, and forced my hand. Since then, Chuck Schumer and the Biden administration have refused any serious negotiations, and so this situation has dragged on,” the statement continued. 


Tuberville — a retired college football coach — said the hold, which began in February, has given him “more time to look more closely into the background of some these nominees,” which has prompted “deep concerns.” 

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“I will continue this process of oversight and I will announce my opposition to specific nominees in the weeks ahead,” he said.

The statement was first obtained by Breitbart.

On Wednesday, Tuberville’s office said in a statement regarding some of the nominees: “What we’re finding isn’t always pretty.”

Tuberville’s office pointed to an op-ed by Col. Ben Jonsson — one of President Biden’s nominees — published in the Air Force Times in July 2020 in which Jonsson lists examples of what he terms “white defensiveness” in the wake of George Floyd’s death. 

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“Defensiveness is a predictable response by white people to any discussion of racial injustice. White colonels are no exception,” Jonsson wrote.

His article concludes by urging readers to get the controversial book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” authored by critical race theory advocate Robin DiAngelo.

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As of Aug. 12, 301 leadership positions in the DoD were vacant, and the number could double by the end of the year if the hold continues, according to data obtained by The Washington Post. 

Each of the DoD’s five military branches is affected by the hold, including President Biden’s nominee to be Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.

Tuberville argues the Pentagon’s abortion policy violates the Hyde Amendment from the 1970s, which restricts the use of federal funds to cover the cost of abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.

In the aftermath of Roe v. Wade’s reversal, the Pentagon’s existing policy provides reimbursement for travel costs and grants leave for abortion procedures to military personnel.

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“Coach’s position has not changed,” Tuberville’s office told Fox News Digital on Friday. “The hold will stay on as long as it takes.”

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“It ends when the Biden administration stops their illegal use of taxpayer dollars to facilitate abortion. Coach would lift the hold immediately in such a scenario,” it added.

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