Haley Slams Tuberville For Using Military Families As Pawns

The heat is turning up on Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who continues to hold up military confirmations in protest to a new abortion policy that the Pentagon passed.

To date, more than 300 officers in the U.S. military have had their confirmations and/or promotions delayed due to Tuberville refusing to vote in favor of them.

On Sunday, Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina who’s running for president as a Republican, said it was a “mistake” for Tuberville to use military families as “political pawns” to fight back against something he believes in.

While appearing on the “State of the Union” program on CNN on Sunday, Haley said:

“We don’t need to be using military families as political pawns. That’s a mistake. … The military members and families, they sacrifice enough. They don’t need to be a pawn in Congress. But, look at the political games that continue to play.”

For the last six months, Tuberville has held strong to his refusal to confirm the appointments or promotions of military officials, which has left more than 300 senior military officers from starting their new jobs. He is sticking to his guns on this, even as both Republican and Democratic politicians are urging him to relent.

Tuberville is protesting a Pentagon policy that allows service members to receive travel reimbursement and paid leave when they seek to get an abortion. Tuberville has argued that this new policy violates the Hyde Amendment, a law that bans any federal funds from going toward abortion.
Despite the fact that she believes Tuberville should back down from his stance, she also said that the core of the problem lies with the Department of Justice. She said that if she were to be elected president, she would end the reimbursement policy that the DOJ has set.

As she explained:

“You have to do these things through Congress. We have three branches of government for a reason. You can’t slip something in there like that and think that Congress is not going to be upset.”

Haley has a keen interest in this topic, as her husband is a member of the military.

During her CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Haley suggested that Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, hold a separate vote for each military member. Tapper argued back that it would go against the tradition in the Senate of having a unanimous consent vote for all military promotions.

Haley shot back:

“If you’re going to talk about tradition, shouldn’t the Department of Defense do things the right way so we’re never in this mess to start with? … Let’s call it like we see it. Department of Defense started this. I’m not saying Senator Tuberville is right in doing this, because I don’t want to use them as pawns.

“But, if you love our military, if you are so adamant about it, then go and make Congress – Republicans and Democrats – have to go through person by person. Do you honestly think they won’t say, ‘OK, this is ridiculous. Let’s put an end to it?’ They will.”