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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Republican Senator Tuberville Blocking Military Promotions In An Attempt To Deny Women Serving In Our Military From Accessing Reproductive Health Care

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke on the Senate floor on Senator Tuberville blocking over 180 military promotions in an attempt to block women serving in our military from accessing reproductive healthcare services. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

For years, decades, both parties have cooperated in the Senate to confirm military promotions, nonpolitical, simply the military doing its job and promoting people who deserve it. We've worked and cooperated to confirm those promotions, to ensure our military’s work continues unimpeded and our national security remains strong.

But today, one member, only one member—the Senator from Alabama, Senator Tuberville—is now blocking more than 180 military promotions because he objects to women in the military accessing reproductive care. In doing so, the Senior Senator from Alabama is putting the security of America in jeopardy and risks permanently politicizing the promotion of routine military promotions.

As Secretary Austin warned yesterday, this is our Secretary of Defense, former general, four-star general Austin, “Not approving the recommendations for promotions actually creates a ripple effect through the force that makes us far less ready than we need to be.” Far less ready than we need to be, Senator Tuberville! This is our national security. That's what Secretary Austin said.

Now, the senior Senator from Alabama claims that his hold has nothing to do with the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs.

Of course it does! It has everything to do with it! He’s telling women in the military they’re not allowed to make their own decision about their health.

That’s wrong, I assure the Senator that our women in the military are more than capable of making those decisions for themselves. And I assure the Senator that the vast majority of Americans do not agree with him, that he should make the choices of women in the military who risk their lives for us about their health.

It’s disappointing to see that more of my colleagues on the other side have yet to call out the Senator from Alabama’s reckless stunt. I thank those who indeed raised their voice, but we need more. Republicans, who claim to be such great supporters of our military, must denounce the harm the Senator from Alabama is causing.

All of us, on both sides, feel deeply passionate about issues from time to time. I respect that Senator Tuberville, whose views dramatically differ from mine has deep feelings about this. Well Senator Tuberville, I have deep feelings on certain issues, so do the other 99 Senators, but we don’t hold up military promotions and risk our national security because of those deep feelings. If everyone one of us is doing what he’s doing, what the Senator from Alabama is doing, the military would collapse. So we ought to move forward.   

I implore my Republican colleagues to speak out and prevail on the Senator from Alabama, so we can get these promotions confirmed, get our military operating to its full capacity, and continue working to protect the nation.