McCarthy Won’t Weigh In on Tuberville Holding Up 300 Military Promotions

Top Republican in Congress staying out of the fray as others express support or opposition to the Alabama senator’s move.
McCarthy Won’t Weigh In on Tuberville Holding Up 300 Military Promotions
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announces an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden to members of the news media outside his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 12, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jackson Richman

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the top Republican in Congress, apparently wants nothing to do with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) holding up hundreds of U.S. military promotions.

Mr. Tuberville has placed a hold on the promotions because of the Pentagon policy of funding travel for female military personnel to get abortions—which violates Section 1093 of U.S. Code 10 that Department of Defense funding can’t be used for abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.

During a press gaggle outside the speaker’s office on Sept. 18, in response to a question from The Epoch Times about his stance on Mr. Tuberville’s decision to hold up about 300 military promotions, Mr. McCarthy pointed to a sign above the entrance to his office that reads “Speaker of the House” on the top line and “Kevin McCarthy” on the bottom.

“That means I’m in the House, not the Senate,” Mr. McCarthy said.

However, House Republicans have expressed both support and opposition to the move preventing confirmation of the promotions, which requires unanimous consent.

“We [want] to recognize and acknowledge the tremendous courage of Senator Tuberville and his efforts and to let him know that, while he’s been leading the charge, reinforcements are right here in the House, and the rest of the Senate should be motivated to help him in that effort as well,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), chairman of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on July 14.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CNN on Sept. 10: “The idea that one man in the Senate can hold this up for months. I understand maybe promotions, but nominations?

“I think that is a national security problem and a national security issue. And I really wish he would reconsider this.”

In order for the Senate to confirm the promotions, the usual voting process of cloture and a final roll call would be required. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said that he wouldn’t do that and that the onus is on the Republicans to get Mr. Tuberville to release his holds.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall wrote a Washington Post opinion piece, published on Sept. 4, criticizing Mr. Tuberville’s holds.

“Placing a blanket hold on all general and flag officer nominees, who as apolitical officials have traditionally been exempt from the hold process, is unfair to these military leaders and their families,” they wrote.

“And it is putting our national security at risk.”

Mr. Tuberville told The Epoch Times that he read the piece and that Mr. Del Toro should have called him instead of criticizing him in the media.

“I mean, that’s not gonna help anything. You know, I’ve actually had a job in my career, and I know for a fact, if you’ve got a problem, you go to the source. And don’t go through anything else,” said Mr. Tuberville, who previously coached college football. “And so that was very unfortunate that we had somebody in administration do that to a United States senator.”

Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.
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