Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville (Alabama) has been using his power to hold up the nominations for several key military positions and hundreds of other lesser military positions – all over his objection to the military’s position on abortions for servicewomen.  The Pentagon has held a position of reimbursing servicewomen who must travel across states in order to receive an abortion, if they are stationed in a state where one is not legally possible.  Since February, Tuberville has blocked the nomination of candidates for key positions at the Pentagon, including The prospective heads of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.  Pentagon representatives have stated that leaving these posts, as well as many other non-political promotions in limbo, leaves our military in a position of weakness.
The fact that one senator can hold up the entire military structure from moving forward with promotions and changes in positions is ludicrous, not to mention dangerous to our national security.  If the issue was the personnel being nominated for positions was the reason behind such a blockade, perhaps there would be room for conversaton and negotiation.  However, Sen.  Tuberville is performing this harmful stalling tactic in order to push his political agenda.  He doesn’t like the military reimbursing servicewomen for having to travel to other states to get the health care they need, so he is willing to put the country’s service structure into a state of limbo to get what he wants.
There are several levels of ridiculousness to this action.  The GOP is supposed to be the party of state’s rights, meaning that each state can determine their own laws.  That doesn’t mean that people can’t go to other states to get items or services needed.  Since the military dictates what state a serviceperson will be stationed, it is unfair to keep them from traveling to another state to get the health care needed, and to reimburse them for that necessary travel.  It’s pretty rich that the Senator from Alabama, whose chief residence now appears to actually be in the State of Florida, wouldn’t be able to see the logic in that, hmm, Senator Tuberville?
Also, the supposed pro-military stance of the GOP is not in evidence when the reality of this blockade is that military families are living in complete limbo, with what would normally be pro-forma promotions are being held up by political gamesmanship.  There are over 350 positions being held by “acting” personnel, instead of the people who rightfully deserve those placements, due to something that has absolutely nothing to do with their achievements or abilities.
As with other noxious and time-wasting games, such as the filibuster, Senators should not be able to block nominations for key governmental positions for reasons other than pertaining to the nominee or the position itself.  This is also the tactic the GOP used to block nomination of a Supreme Court Judge under President Obama, for completely made-up reasons of the amount ot time left in his presidency.  If the Senate, and the House for that matter, both concentrated on issues of efficiency and actually doing the work of the people, so much more could be accomplished. Instead, here we are, with one man pushing his agenda in any way possible, even when it weakens our national security.  For shame.

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