“I don’t support suspending military nominations,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and minority leader, recently told reporters when asked about Mr. Tuberville’s actions. That hasn’t been enough to deter the Alabama senator or his staunch supporters in the GOP ranks, who have stood in for him when he wasn’t on Capitol Hill to press his objections to a policy that has angered the base. Republican against abortion.
The resulting impasse is beginning to take a tangible toll on the military. On Monday, the first of the outgoing Joint Chiefs, Navy Commander Gen. David H. Berger, will retire in a “resignation of office” ceremony, leaving his current deputy and successor nominee, Gen. Eric Smith, to take office without Congressional blessing.
Through August and September, the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs of staff, as well as Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to do the same, leaving the organization with more temporary occupants than at any time in its history.
“We know these holds are going to have a ripple effect throughout the department,” Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said last month, arguing that Tuberville was setting “a dangerous precedent” that “puts our military readiness at risk. ”
Similar sentiments have been expressed by the White House, where press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre argued last month that Tuberville’s tactics were “a threat to our national security,” and by Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat. of New York and Majority Leader, who charged on the floor last month that “the damaging impact Senator Tuberville has on high-ranking military promotions is having on our national security and military readiness.”