Tommy Tuberville’s Military Holdups Picking Up GOP Detractors

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The Congressional Record

  • The House voted 226-196 on Thursday to pass a $14.3 billion Israel aid package, with 12 Democrats joining most Republicans in supporting it. Two Republicans opposed the legislation. As we wrote to you on Tuesday, the bill doesn’t have a chance of passing the Democratic-held Senate because it offsets the new spending with cuts to Internal Revenue Service funding and includes no money for Ukraine, which Democrats and GOP defense hawks want to pass alongside Israel funding.
  • Sen. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democrat, proposed a resolution to punish senators who are indicted for compromising national security, mishandling classified information, or acting as a foreign agent. If passed—the odds of which are unclear—those senators would lose committee assignments and be barred from joining classified briefings, among other consequences. Although it doesn’t mention Sen. Bob Menendez by name, the move is clearly in response to the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery indictment late last month. Fetterman has previously called on Menendez to step down.
  • Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee clashed this week over approving subpoenas in their investigation into Supreme Court ethics. Republicans called the move an unfair attempt to attack conservative Supreme Court justices, while Democrats said subpoenas are needed to unearth new information in their probe. The committee may vote on the matter as soon as next week.
  • House members rejected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s resolution to censure progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib for her stance on Israel and Palestine this week. Greene accused Tlaib of antisemitism and “sympathizing with terrorist organizations.” The chamber also voted down an attempt to expel GOP Rep. George Santos, who was indicted last month for wire fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft, among other charges.
  • Democratic lawmakers are increasingly calling for Israel to shift its military strategy or take a humanitarian pause in its counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip. In separate statements on Thursday, Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Brian Schatz reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, but cited a mounting civilian death toll and untenable conditions for people in Gaza unable to escape. “The way in which the current campaign is being waged—most recently evidenced by the terribly high human cost of the strikes on the Jabalya refugee camp—suggests that they have not struck the right balance between military necessity and proportionality,” Murphy wrote
  • House Appropriations Committee Chair Kay Granger said this week she will not seek reelection. Granger, a Texas Republican, has served in the House for nearly three decades. Her decision comes after she opposed conservative Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for the speakership last month. Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, another Republican, also announced his retirement this week, citing rampant election denial within the GOP conference.
  • House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said Friday he is open to pairing border security measures with future Ukraine aid. Republicans have increasingly coalesced around the idea of coupling those two issues in legislation, rather than tying Ukraine to an even broader bill including Israel aid.

Tommy Tuberville Is Not Backing Down

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, speaks to reporters as he leaves the Senate floor after a vote in the Capitol on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, speaks to reporters as he leaves the Senate floor after a vote in the Capitol on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

World War III may be brewing in the Middle East. A conflict over Taiwan could break out with China any day. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continues to threaten the stability of the Korean Peninsula. And, Sen. Tuberville, did you know this U.S. military officer went to Auburn?

Not even that old college try could move Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, former head football coach at Auburn University, off his nine-month blockade of military promotions. Some of his fellow Republicans—Sens. Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, Mitt Romney, Todd Young, and Lindsey Graham—spent nearly five hours on the Senate floor Wednesday night attempting to circumvent Tuberville’s hold. But the Alabama Republican would not relent, even as his colleagues described 61 officers’ impressive résumés, decades in the service, and the importance of their new appointments. Sullivan and Ernst at times grew visibly angry with Tuberville during the debate, demanding that he explain himself.

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