Senator Rosen: “Failure to fill these positions poses a risk to our nation’s military readiness and our ability to ensure that these critical roles are filled with the personnel we need.”
Watch Senator Rosen’s Speech HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) pushed to end an extreme Republican blockade of military promotions, including a senior military leader at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Since March, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has blocked the routine promotions for nearly 200 military officers, including the Vice Commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, because of his objections to a policy from the Department of Defense that allows servicemembers to be able to travel to seek reproductive and abortion care. In her remarks, Senator Rosen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, explained how this anti-choice blockade is leaving senior military positions unfilled and poses a serious risk to America’s national security and military readiness.
Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. Last month, in a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Rosen called on her colleagues to protect access to abortion care for veterans and their eligible dependents. Rosen also helped introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine Roe v. Wade in federal law and protect millions of women’s access to reproductive health care. Most recently, she helped introduce the Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access To Health Care Act, which would codify the Department of Defense policy to ensure servicemembers and their families can access reproductive health care, including abortion services, regardless of the state in which they are stationed.
Watch Senator Rosen’s full remarks here.
Below are Senator Rosen’s floor remarks as delivered:
I want to express how deeply concerned I am about the senior Senator from Alabama’s blockade of senior military promotions, which threatens to leave hundreds of non-political, routine military positions unfilled all because he wants to repeal the Department of Defense’s policy that allows servicemembers to be able to travel to seek and travel for reproductive care.
This is a move that risks our national security in order to rob our service members of their ability to make their own family-planning decisions – service members who, frankly, are sacrificing so much to keep our country safe.
And so, failure to fill these positions poses a risk to our nation’s military readiness and our ability to ensure that these critical roles are filled with the personnel that we need.
And don’t just take my word for it – seven former Secretaries of Defense, from both Democratic and Republican Administrations, have voiced their concern and opposition to these holds. Secretary Austin and General Milley have also repeatedly stated that these delays pose a clear risk – a clear risk – to America’s military readiness.
In a moment, I’ll be asking the Senate to confirm by Unanimous Consent calendar number 110. Included in this batch of 23 routine military promotions is the current Vice Commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base.
This is the home of our Air Force fighter pilots right in Nevada – where America’s air combat tactics are developed, where they’re refined, and where they are perfected to ensure we keep pace with the current and emerging threats.
Training and instruction takes place right at the Nevada Test and Training Range, which provides the largest air and ground military training space in the continental United States for testing and evaluation of weapons systems and advanced air combat training.
Because of one Senator’s anti-choice blockade, the Vice Commander of the Air Force Warfare Center in my great state of Nevada, which oversees more than thirteen thousand military and civilian personnel, is unable to receive the promotion and the pay increase he deserves. He’s unable to transition to his next duty assignment, and his replacement is unable to assume their duties and move their family to Las Vegas.
This hurts military families. This hurts Nevada. This hurts the United States of America.
And we will also experience several high-ranking vacancies that are going to be left open because of this senseless blockade, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the top leaders of the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, and even the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command.
You know, we have a responsibility to keep our nation safe – to protect our homeland and our troops all around the world.
And that begins by making sure we have the appropriate professionals in top positions to lead our service members. Nothing – I repeat nothing – could be more important than that.
So, I strongly urge my colleagues to stop playing politics. I strongly urge them to end this anti-choice blockade so that we can fill critical military positions, like those in my home state of Nevada and around the world.
We cannot waste any more time.
So, Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar Number 110, that the Senate vote on the nomination, without intervening action or debate; that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate; that any statements related to the nomination be printed in the Record; that the President be immediately notified of the Senate’s action.