Abortion Politics

Ted Cruz Promises Swift Resolution on Military and Abortion

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed optimism regarding the Senate’s potential progression beyond the prolonged hold that Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has maintained on military promotions and nominations. Cruz conveyed his beliefs during a discussion with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on November 20.

For months, Tuberville has obstructed the Senate from using unanimous consent motions to swiftly confirm military promotions as a protest against a Department of Defense (DOD) policy. This policy involves funding abortion-related travel and allocating leave time for service members, which Tuberville contends violates the Hyde Amendment, a federal law prohibiting federal funds from covering most abortions.

Although Tuberville’s tactic doesn’t stop the Senate from confirming military promotions and nominations, it necessitates a slower process under cloture, resulting in a backlog of approximately 400 nominees.

Tuberville has repeatedly asserted that he will persist with this tactic until the DOD retracts its policy or Congress amends federal law to explicitly permit the DOD’s adopted policy. However, concerns have emerged among some Senate Republicans about the tactic potentially harming military readiness and unfairly affecting the families of military officers who were not involved in crafting the DOD abortion travel policy.

Conservative commentators, including Hugh Hewitt, have expressed frustration with Tuberville’s delay tactic, acknowledging the conflict between the DOD policy and the law while highlighting its impact on military nominees who weren’t linked to the controversial policy.

Senator Cruz acknowledged the tangible and adverse consequences of Tuberville’s hold on military nominations, expressing confidence that the issue will soon reach a resolution. He highlighted having discussions with Tuberville and anticipated a course of action that allows both the necessary military promotions and Tuberville’s advocacy for pro-life causes.

Amidst Senate Democrats pushing a standing order resolution aiming to modify Senate rules and bypass holds on most military nominees, Cruz didn’t endorse the plan. No Senate Republicans have explicitly supported the resolution to modify Senate rules. Cruz’s optimism hints at potential resolution, although the specific path to resolving the impasse remains unspecified.

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