President Joe Biden spoke out against Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) for holding up the confirmation of 200 Pentagon nominees in protest of a Defense Department abortion policy.

Tuberville began blocking confirmations in March in opposition to a policy enacted by the Defense Department last year. The policy provides paid leave and reimburses costs for service members who travel to get an abortion in states where abortion is now restricted.

Tuberville opposed the policy citing the Hyde Amendment, which carved out particular abortion services that states are not obligated to cover using federal taxpayer funds.

“I will keep my hold until the Pentagon follows the law or Congress changes the law. That’s the way we do it here in the Senate… Follow the law that we have made in this body, or change the law,” said Tuberville in a statement.


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The process of confirming Pentagon nominees is usually a speedy one. If Tuberville continues to block the nominees, the U.S. Senate would have to employ a longer process that would take up valuable time on the floor.

“It’s just bizarre,” said Biden at a fundraiser in California’s Silicon Valley. “I don’t remember it happening before, and I’ve been around.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that Tuberville’s actions are “hurting our national security.”

“It is dangerous what he’s doing, and it is unacceptable,” said Jean-Pierre. “We’ve been very, very clear about this. It is important to move forward with the President’s Department of Defense nominations as they relate to our national security, as it relates to military safety, as it relates to what we need to make sure we’re providing for our military force.”

Tuberville’s efforts have been supported by conservative organizations and leaders across the country. There is no indication that he will release his grip on the Pentagon nominees anytime soon. Democrats are considering changing Senate rules to end the blockade.

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