Sullivan & Senate Military Vets Attempt to Bypass Hold, Confirm Military Nominees One-by-One

WASHINGTON—Last night, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), the only member of the Senate currently serving in the military, led Republican senators and military veterans, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), in trying to confirm 61 of the nearly 370 military promotions that have been held for nine months. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) put a blanket hold on these promotions beginning in February in response to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s new abortion policy. Sen. Sullivan, who is pro-life, also strongly objects to the policy, and has been working with Sen. Tuberville for months to try to find a solution, including putting a targeted hold on the civilian Defense Department (DOD) officials who make policy.

“I am as pro-life as they come,” said Sen. Sullivan. “I strongly disagree with what Secretary Austin and President Biden have done with their politicization of the military on a whole host of fronts, including the abortion policy…But I also firmly believe that one of our most core basic principles—certainly as Republicans—which I think in many ways distinguishes us from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, is our serious focus on national security, readiness, a strong military, and taking care of our troops and their families.”

Sen. Sullivan, who is the ranking member of the Readiness Subcommittee on the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued that holding these nominations is putting a strain on military families and impacting our nation’s military readiness.

“We are in a very dangerous world right now,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Our country is being challenged on multiple fronts across the globe. We literally have American troops under attack in the Middle East. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, as a U.S. Marine Corps colonel, I know—we all know here in the Senate—that America needs to have our best players, our most combat-capable leaders, on the field, and, right now, that is not happening. It needs to change…Many of the one-star and two-star [generals] who are being held right now are in my peer group. I have known these men and women for 30 years. There is growing bitterness within the ranks of our military, driven by this fact, and I want people to understand this: The men and women in the military who served our country so well for decades—probably the most combat-experienced generation since World War II—have made huge sacrifices, multiple deployments, and now their careers are being punished over a policy dispute they had nothing to do with and no power to resolve.”

Sen. Sullivan highlighted the service of the military members whose promotions he was trying to confirm.

“Do you know who these people are, the one- and two-stars we are holding up right now?” Sen. Sullivan asked. “These were the Captains and Lieutenants who were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. These were the people who were kicking in doors in Fallujah, shooting terrorists in the face, and we have people saying they are desk jockeys and they are not warriors? That is just ridiculous. It is ridiculous, and it is insulting.”

Today, Sen. Sullivan received much outreach from military members and their families in America and serving across the globe, thanking him for fighting for them—further bolstering his resolve to continue to move these promotions, including continuing to bring these names for individual votes on the Senate floor.

To watch the full floor event, click here. For a transcript of Sen. Sullivan’s opening and closing remarks, click here.

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