As the Biden administration sought to put pressure on Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama to end his hold on military promotions that must be confirmed by the Senate, one top Biden appointee accused Tuberville of supporting America’s enemies.
The senator has taken his stand in response to a Pentagon policy that pays the expenses of service members who go out of state for an abortion if the state they are in has restrictions under which that service member could not obtain an abortion, according to The Associated Press.
Tuberville has said the policy violates the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited U.S. taxpayer funding of most abortions since 1977.
His tactic blocks the traditional Senate voice vote on promotions of generals and other officers.
It does not prohibit Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York from scheduling roll call votes on the promotions.
About 300 promotions have been halted, according to the AP.
To put pressure on Tuberville, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth attacked him in an Op-Ed published Monday in The Washington Post.
The three Biden administration military leaders also made a joint appearance on CNN
During the interview, Del Toro accused Tuberville of “playing Russian roulette with the very lives of our servicemembers by denying them the opportunity to actually have the most experienced combat leaders in those positions to lead them in times of peace and in times of combat.”
“I would have never imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communist and other autocratic regimes around the world,” the Navy secretary said.
At one point, Kendall said a U.S. military officer was taunted by a Chinese officer “about the way our democracy was working.”
Warmuth said that social media criticism of specific officers is “unprecedented” because it was “attacking apolitical general officers and flag officers.”
In the Op-Ed, the three secretaries said Tuberville is “putting our national security at risk.”