Senators Approve Back Pay for Service Members Affected By Tuberville Barricade

Senators Approve Back Pay for Service Members Affected By Tuberville Barricade

( – In protest of the Pentagon’s policy of compensating soldiers who travel to obtain abortions, a senator from Alabama, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, had postponed for ten months the approval of promotions to the ranks of general and flag officer. In early December, he released his hold on the majority of confirmations. Upon the lifting of Tuberville’s suspension, the Senate wasted no time confirming 425 nominees for military positions.

After the blockade ended, senators from both parties worked to pay the officers who had been delayed in receiving the raise that would have come with a timely promotion.

On Thursday, December 14, the United States Senate voted unanimously to adopt a measure to provide back pay to military personnel affected by Tuberville’s hold on military promotions.

All 100 senators gave their support to the bipartisan initiative, which was spearheaded by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Independent Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats.

Members of both the Republican and Democratic parties voiced their dissatisfaction with Tuberville’s blockage, including Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed relief on the chamber floor after passing the bill to support veterans, saying they should not face “any kind of punishment whatsoever.”

Tuberville’s objection to the Department of Defense policy that would have allowed military troops to take time off and get reimbursement for medical expenses related to abortion is that he believes it amounts to taxpayer-funded abortion.

However, a vote in the House is still necessary for the legislation to succeed. This vote is not expected to occur until January.

Tuberville’s slow confirmation process is was holding up eleven candidates for four-star posts until recently. Those four candidates were finally confirmed on Tuesday, December 19.

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