President Joe Biden expressed his expectation on Thursday that Republicans would take a stand against Senator Tommy Tuberville's obstruction of key U.S. military appointments due to the
Pentagon's abortion policy, which he deemed "ridiculous."
Speaking in Helsinki after a meeting with leaders from Nordic countries, Biden criticized the injection of a domestic social debate into essential foreign policy matters, calling it bizarre and irresponsible.
Since March, Tuberville, a social conservative from Alabama, has been blocking the confirmation of 250 nominees for senior Pentagon positions as a protest against a Defense Department policy implemented last year. This policy provides paid leave and reimburses costs for service members who travel to obtain an abortion.
"He is putting U.S. security at risk with his actions. I expect the Republican Party to take a stand and do something about it," Biden stated during a press conference.
Earlier on Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned that he had last spoken to Tuberville in March but expressed his willingness to engage with him once again.
"He needs to remove the holds. This is a matter of national security and readiness. We should not underestimate its significance," Austin said in an interview with CNN.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Tuberville stated that he had a 10-minute call with Austin several months ago and accused Democrats of engaging in political theater.
During his Senate confirmation hearing to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charles "CQ" Brown, the outgoing Air Force chief of staff, warned on Tuesday that Tuberville's obstruction of military promotions could have far-reaching consequences for the Armed Forces and impact troops and their families.
As of Monday, with the official departure of Retiring Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps has been without a Senate-confirmed leader for the first time in over a century due to Tuberville's actions. Photo by age Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, Wikimedia commons.