GOP senators back Tuberville’s ‘courageous’ tactic against Pentagon funding of abortion travels

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Jami DeVries directs an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Operation Agile Spartan II at King Faisal Air Base, Saudi Arabia, March 9, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez)
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jami DeVries directs an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Operation Agile Spartan II at King Faisal Air Base, Saudi Arabia, March 9, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by The Daily Signal.]

By Samantha Aschieris
The Daily Signal

Some Republican senators are expressing their support for Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s efforts to overturn the Pentagon’s policy of subsidizing abortions by holding up the promotions of high-ranking military officers.

The first-term Republican senator from Alabama has spent months fighting against the Defense Department’s woke agenda by blocking the Senate’s approval of nearly 200 promotions for military generals and flag officers.

The Defense Department issued its policy Feb. 16, providing three weeks of taxpayer-funded paid leave and reimbursement of travel expenses for military personnel and dependents who are seeking an abortion.

The Daily Signal contacted every other Senate Republican, asking whether he or she supports the Alabama senator’s efforts.

“Senator [Josh] Hawley opposes the DOD abortion policy and supports all efforts to overturn it,” a spokesperson for Hawley, R-Mo., told The Daily Signal in an email.

Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., also expressed support for Tuberville’s efforts.

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“I support Sen. Tuberville’s principled stand,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “For decades, Democrats and Republicans joined together to forbid federal funds from being used for abortion. To allow taxpayer-funded abortions would be a disservice to all those who have a sincere religious objection.”

“The Biden administration is radically pro-abortion. I’m glad to see Senator Tuberville take a courageous stance against their illegal action to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for members of our military,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement.

Daines noted that Tuberville has called for the Senate to vote on the abortion policy during an interview this week.

“Sen. Tuberville has said, ‘Just give us an up or down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Let’s bring this fight to the light of day … in front of the people that sent us here to serve and deliberate about these issues,’” Daines said.

In a statement to The Daily Signal, Tuberville’s fellow Alabama Republican senator, Katie Britt, weighed in, saying:

It is critical that we defend life at every turn. Instead of using Department of Defense funds to best equip, resource, and train our warfighters to defend our nation, the Biden administration is using these taxpayer dollars to fight a culture war to advance its own left-wing political agenda.

Not only is this another example of far-left Democrats attempting to chip away at the long-standing, bipartisan Hyde Amendment, it is a clear abuse of military funding and an affront to the military’s nonpartisan mission.

[Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.] should allow this to come to a vote without delay. The reason he has refused to do so is because that Congress will not approve a radical measure that forces American families to subsidize abortions with their hard-earned tax dollars.

The White House and Schumer’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.

“Absolutely, Senator Lankford believes what the DoD is doing is wrong and is ignoring federal law,” a spokeswoman for Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement.

Other Senate Republicans who have previously expressed their support for Tuberville’s efforts include Sens. J. D. Vance of Ohio, John Cornyn of Texas, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Todd Young of Indiana, and John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota.

“The Pentagon is unlawfully declaring war on the unborn. Their policy dodges congressional intent and cannot stand,” Ernst told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “I share Senator Tuberville’s desire to overturn this policy and am leading the Senate’s effort to undo it through legislation.”

Republican Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Susan Collins of Maine have previously expressed concern over Tuberville’s efforts, Politico reported. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is also opposed to Tuberville’s efforts, the The Associated Press reported.

The Defense Department declined to comment for this article.

In addition to the senators’ support, more than 3,000 veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces expressed their support for Tuberville and calling on the Pentagon to rescind its abortion policy in a new letter addressed to Schumer and McConnell. The letter was shared first with The Daily Signal.

Four members of House of Representatives joined state lawmakers, national leaders, and thousands of everyday Americans who have served their country in the military among the signatories.

“The undersigned stand united in condemning this policy,” they write in the letter to Schumer and McConnell. “This policy is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense.”

The letter includes 593 individual names—including Reps. Eli Crane, R-Ariz.; Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.; Ronny Jackson, R-Texas; and Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla.—plus 32 endorsers and partners with the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, which represents the position of more than 2,500 military chaplains.

This article may be updated should more Republican senators express their support for, or opposition to, Tuberville’s efforts.

The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey contributed to this report.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by The Daily Signal.]


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