Mike Lee Calls For Defunding of Military Over Abortion Policy – Rolling Stone

mike lee defund natsec

Tommy Tuberville has finally found an ally in his war against the Pentagon: Mike Lee. On Friday, the Republican senator from Utah tweeted out a defense of his colleague from Alabama, who has been holding months-long one-man embargo against critical military promotions for months. Lee even called for Republicans to “de-fund” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and to “cut Pentagon funding.” 

Tuberville, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, since February has been blocking military promotions requiring Senate confirmation over his opposition to the military’s policy of reimbursing service members who are forced to travel to other states to obtain abortion services. The embargo has resulted in the stonewalling of more than 300 confirmations. The Marines, Navy, and Army all now lack a Senate-confirmed leader.

The Pentagon has repeatedly called the blockade a threat to national security and military readiness. Attempts to negotiate directly with Tuberville have proved fruitless, and this week the Pentagon began a media pressure campaign against the senator. 

Mike Lee has taken offense to that. 

“The Pentagon has vast resources—more than any other entity on earth,” he wrote on Thursday. “Its leaders have weaponized those resources against Americans they don’t like. @SenTuberville is only the latest, most visible victim of their politically motivated bullying tactics. Who else have they attacked, whether overtly or covertly? Who will be their next victim? Do we really want a military that attacks American citizens—just to win their own political battles? I think not. It’s time to clip some wings at the Pentagon,” he wrote.

“When Pentagon leaders stop fighting America’s enemies And instead fight Americans Waging war on American babies It’s time to cut Pentagon funding,” he added in another tweet Friday morning. Lee also called for Defense Sec. Austin himself to be defunded, accusing him of flouting abortion laws and using the DOD’s “vast resources to defame those who call him out for it.”

Lee’s support of Tuberville marks a break with Republican leadership. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters in May that he “doesn’t support putting a hold on military nominations,” although the GOP leader hasn’t been able to push Tuberville towards a resolution. 


The battle between Tuberville and the Pentagon is likely to escalate in the coming weeks, as the Pentagon prepares to appoint a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to replace General Mark Milly, whose term ends Oct. 1. Should the dispute with Tuberville remain unresolved, it could leave the highest-ranking military office empty. 

Lee entering the fray could help to stiffen Tuberville’s already steadfast resolve even further. “I’m not budging,” the senator told CNN on Tuesday.

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/mike-lee-defund-military-abortion-1234820837/

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