VIDEO: Kaine Delivers Speech on Senate Floor Calling for End to Tuberville’s Hold on Military Promotions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor to call for an end to Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) hold on military promotions, which Tuberville has issued to protest a rule the Biden Administration issued to protect servicemembers’ access to reproductive health care. Kaine, who is also Chair of the SASC Subcommittee on Seapower overseeing the Navy and Marine Corps, has been vocal about how the hold hurts America’s national security abroad and military readiness, and impacts servicemembers and their families.
“The senior senator from Alabama has held up political nominations of more than 300 senior military officers for months. I've spoken about this numerous times on the Senate floor, and yet it is getting more and more severe every day. And this is the behavior of one senator who has placed the hold on these nominations but frankly, it's behavior that is being enabled by his colleagues on the Republican side of this body. Military leaders who have done nothing other than volunteer to wear the nation's uniform and risked their lives in serving this country, who have served honorably, have had their lives and careers derailed over a disagreement on a policy matter that these officers had nothing to do with,” Kaine said.
“This is causing critical challenges in critical positions throughout the DOD and it's affecting Virginia, just as it is all states. Of those who are being held, 39 of the positions are positions that affect Virginians. They're unable to move their families, unable to put their children in school. They can't start the jobs for which they've been nominated based upon their track record,” he continued.
In response to the suggestion from Senate Republicans that the Senate consider individual votes to fill high-ranking military vacancies, Kaine said: “…For us to countenance such a suggestion in this body that we would we would have a debate and a vote on a few of the top brass, and then we would allow the punishment of these poor people who are trying to move across the country—whose kids need to be in school, whose spouses have jobs they can't report to—not only should we not do this here, I can't imagine the key military leadership who are waiting in line even want us to do that.”
“There is one solution for this, and the solution is for the Republican minority in this body to go to Senator Tuberville and convince him to stop this punishment of these individuals. These officers had nothing to do with the policy that Senator Tuberville doesn't like. If he doesn’t like the policy, I disagree with him on that, but he’s within his right to not like the policy. But when he has had repeated ability to try to persuade his colleagues, that the policy is wrong and he's been unsuccessful, he should not take out his inability to persuade his colleagues on these patriotic public servants. I urge, in the most urgent way that I can, the quickest end to this blockade. Let's give these people in positions that they have earned through their lives of service and enable them to continue to serve this country,” he concluded.
Video of Senator Kaine discussing Tuberville’s hold during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on September 12, 2023 is available here.