Veteran In Congress Rips Tommy Tuberville After Army Loses Senate-Confirmed Leader

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The leader within the U.S. Army who ordinarily serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is no longer Senate-confirmed amid a months-long series of objections from Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who is outraged at the Defense Department providing travel support for personnel seeking an abortion.

The occupant of the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army (the affected role) is the highest-ranking officer in that branch of the U.S. military, though control of those personnel is still spread throughout other government positions. The related position for the U.S. Marines is now also without a Senate-confirmed occupant, creating a situation without historical precedent as Tuberville resists the consistent pressure for him to relent. While it’s potentially possible that the Senate could overcome Tuberville’s objections to these individual nominations, the process to do so could prove debilitatingly extended, with other pressing matters — like funding bills — on deck for legislators.

Many of the responsibilities that would otherwise be fulfilled in the leadership roles where Tuberville has blocked the nominations from moving forward have gone instead to figures serving in what is known as an acting capacity, though the transfer is not necessarily comprehensive, meaning these figures without Senate confirmation can’t necessarily fulfill the entire duties. In addition, Tuberville’s actions have simply created extensive chaos in the handling of the military, scrambling advancement and other plans for personnel.

“This is a disgrace, @SenTuberville,” Rep. Mikie Sherill (D-N.J.), said after the developments at the U.S. Army. “Yet another branch of our military is without a leader – all because of Senator Tuberville’s crusade to restrict servicewomen’s access to abortion. Enough is enough.” Alongside other Democrats in Congress with a military or national security background, Sherill also participated in a recent video ad campaign from VoteVets, a progressive advocacy organization that represents veterans’ causes. VoteVets has launched ad campaigns in Tuberville’s home state of Alabama criticizing the Republican Senator.