Skip to content

Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville Continuing His Harmful Blanket Hold On Military Promotions And His Refusal To Condemn White Supremacists In Our Military

Washington, D.C.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) refusing to denounce white supremacy in the military and blocking military promotions. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Over the past few months, the Senior Senator from Alabama has singlehandedly hindered our national security by blocking hundreds of critical military appointments.

Those holds are hamstringing our military. According to former Secretaries of Defense who served presidents of both parties, this blanket hold “is harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security.”

But last week, the Senator’s conduct, as bad as it’s been, just by holding up these hundreds of general officers whose lives are in limbo even though they’ve given decades of service to our country, who we depend on for our national defense, he’s holding them up. But the senator went even beyond that.

In an interview over the radio, Senator Tuberville was asked if white supremacists should be allowed in the military, to which he, a member of the Armed Services Committee, responded by saying, “Well, they call them that. I call them Americans.”

It’s hard to believe he really said it. But check the record. He did.

Revolting. Revolting down to the last word. The Senator from Alabama’s words were revolting to so many across this country.

A few days later, when asked to clarify his views on the matter, when he was given a chance to reverse this awful mistake that will be a blot on his record forever, Senator Tuberville then responded with “what is a white nationalist?” as if it’s some great mystery.

“What is a white nationalist?” Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me, senator?

Let me give my colleague a hint on how to define a white nationalist:

The man who just over a year ago murdered ten people at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo seeking to murder Black people was a white nationalist.

The insurrectionists who waved Confederate flags through the halls of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, many of them were white nationalists. Sadly, some of those insurrectionists had military backgrounds.

Again, what is a white nationalist? How about the parade of belligerents who carried torches through the streets of Charlottesville, while screaming “Jews will not replace us”?

Senator Tuberville, those were white nationalists.

And then he followed up by saying—I couldn’t believe he said this—“I look at a white nationalist as a Trump Republican.” Really?

What the heck is happening in America?

Leader McConnell cannot allow a member of his conference to make a mockery of our military and of the Senate, the way Senator Tuberville has done.

If any of my Republican colleagues care whatsoever about the well-being of our military, they will denounce the Senator’s words and urge him to drop his holds.