Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor after filing cloture on critical national security nominations and on the dangerous consequences of Sen. Tuberville’s blanket hold on military nominations in light of Gen. Eric Smith’s medical emergency. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
A few moments ago, I filed cloture on the President’s nominees for Chief of Naval Operations and Air Force Chief of Staff, the remaining vacancies on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I have also filed cloture on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to serve as Assistant Commandant for the US Marine Corps.
Lt. Gen. Mahoney’s confirmation is urgent in light of the frightening news that Gen. Eric Smith, confirmed last month to lead the US Marine Corps, was hospitalized Sunday after a serious medical emergency. We pray for General Smith’s recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
This scary incident involving General Smith shows why it’s supremely risky to play politics with military appointments, as Sen. Tuberville is doing.
Emergencies happen, and when they do, the chain of command must be able to respond but thanks to Senator Tuberville, there is no current number two at the Marine Corps to fill in.
The situation at the Marine Corps is precisely the kind of avoidable emergency that Senator Tuberville has provoked through his blanket holds.
Lt. Gen. Mahoney should have been appointed a very long time ago, but he is one of the more than 300 nominees that Senator Tuberville is brazenly blocking to advance his extreme agenda.
Every day that Senator Tuberville continues his blanket holds, our military preparedness is worse off. Our military families suffer. Our military appointments risk being further ensnared in partisan politics, which is a point of no return we must never cross in the Senate.
Senator Tuberville should drop his blanket holds at once. And in the meantime, the Senate will proceed to confirm these nominations that should have been swiftly approved long ago, as has been custom in the Senate for decades.