Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the dangerous consequences that Senator Tuberville’s holds on military promotions have on our national security. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
The senior Senator from Alabama—Senator Tuberville—is continuing his dangerous and reckless hold of hundreds of routine, non-political promotions of senior military officers.
This morning, Senator Warren, Senator Reed, and I released a new letter from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin detailing how the Senator from Alabama’s blanket holds pose a “clear risk” to our military readiness and directly impact and hurt military families. And since these are general officers, they've spent decades, they and their families, serving our country.
Secretary Austin’s letter confirms what Democrats have been saying for weeks—Senator Tuberville’s indefinite hold on the confirmation of our general and flag officers is reckless, unprecedented, harmful to our military’s readiness and sends the wrong message to our partners and allies.
In the letter, Secretary Austin warned that a prolonged blanket hold is creating unnecessary uncertainty in the chain of command that “diminishes our global standing as the strongest military in the world.”
Let me say that again because it’s so striking: the Senator from Alabama’s blanket hold is creating unnecessary uncertainty that “…diminishes our global standing as the strongest military in the world.”
Secretary Austin’s letter also laid out how the Senator from Alabama’s hold is also harming our military families, preventing children from starting new schools and spouses from starting new jobs. That's shameful, hurting these generals and admirals’ families in this unique attempt to try and get his way, which will not happen.
Finally, Secretary Austin’s letter highlighted that over the next several months there will be hundreds more promotions requiring Senate confirmation, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Staff of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commander of US Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency, and so much more.
These are just some of the positions at risk of delay if the Senator from Alabama keeps his reckless holds.
Secretary Austin’s letter follows a letter last week from seven former Secretaries of Defense— Democrat and Republican, who served under Democratic and Republican Presidents—stating that blanket holds are “harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security.”
And, let’s be clear eyed about why the Senator from Alabama is carrying out this reckless act. He is doing it to advance the extreme MAGA Republican agenda. He is doing it because he fundamentally doesn’t believe women have the right to make their own choice.
I hope Senate Republicans read Secretary Austin’s letter, as well as the letter from the seven former Secretaries of Defense, and prevail on the Senator from Alabama to end this dangerous blockade and get our military operating to its full capacity. Destroying a Senate process that has been apolitical and pro-forma, throughout history should not fall victim to MAGA Republican politics. And I thank Senator Warren and Reed for continuing to bring attention to this issue.