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(Daily Signal)—Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has blamed Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., for holding back the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s military appointees, yet on Thursday, Schumer tacitly admitted that Tuberville isn’t the problem—the Democrats’ own priorities are.
Tuberville has put a “hold” on Biden’s military nominees, protesting the Department of Defense’s policy offering taxpayer funds to pay for service members’ travel expenses when they seek to get abortions. This means he objects to “unanimous consent,” the process by which the Senate rubber-stamps an entire bloc of nominees without a recorded vote. It does not mean Tuberville is single-handedly preventing the Senate from voting on the nominees individually, as Democrats like Schumer appear to suggest.
On Thursday, Schumer celebrated the fact that the Senate has confirmed over 140 of Biden’s judicial nominees. By celebrating this, the Democrat tacitly admitted that he prioritized judges over military personnel, Tuberville and other Republicans argued.
“Sen. Schumer is all talk,” Tuberville told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday. “He is bragging about how many judges he has confirmed while refusing to bring a single military nomination to the floor. If he was really concerned about readiness, he would call a vote today.”
“My position has not changed. I will continue to hold nominees until Biden reverses his illegal taxpayer-funded abortion travel policy,” the senator added.
This Senate has confirmed over 140 judges—including 36 Circuit Court Judges, 104 District Court Judges, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, the historic nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court!
And we will continue the work to advance more of @POTUS's highly qualified nominees.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 14, 2023
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, characterized Schumer’s tweet as saying “the quiet part out loud.”
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“He can pass any nominations he wants, he simply refuses to bring up military promotions for a vote!” Lee added.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) September 14, 2023
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., condemned Democrats like Schumer as “complete hypocrites,” urging them to rescind the Department of Defense’s “illegal policy of funding abortions with taxpayer” funds.
“If they want to confirm a general, they can bring the nominee up for a vote,” Johnson added.
The GOP is the party of life and the rule of law.
Democrats are being complete hypocrites, they should rescind @DeptofDefense's illegal policy of funding abortions with taxpayer $’s.
If they want to confirm a general, they can bring the nominee up for a vote. pic.twitter.com/3icztukvZi
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) September 14, 2023
“The Senate didn’t vote today,” Tuberville noted Wednesday. “We’ve had 80 days off this year. Plus weekends. And [Schumer] wants to lecture me about nominations?”
Schumer has repeatedly condemned the Alabama senator’s move, calling it “dangerous and reckless.”
“Sen. 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,” Schumer said in May. He cited a letter from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claiming that Tuberville’s hold poses a “clear risk” to military readiness.
Schumer did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on whether his celebration of judicial confirmations undermines his attempts to blame Tuberville for the confirmation delays.
The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll, a former Senate staffer, wrote that Democrats could have approved 108 military promotions if they worked an eight-hour day five days a week instead of leaving town for a month this summer.
John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that Tuberville’s holds are having “no impact” on operations.
Critics have condemned many of Biden’s military nominees as “woke,” citing their advocacy for liberal issues such as gun control and their warnings about “white colonels” being the “biggest barriers” to “racial justice.” Schumer may be attempting to protect vulnerable Democratic senators from taking on-the-record votes for divisive nominees.