BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama senator Tommy Tuberville is standing by his continued blockade of military promotions even as a conflict erupts between U.S. ally Israel and militant group Hamas.
“I’m not going to drop my holds just because there’s some kind of escalation in the Middle East, this really has nothing to do with that,” Tuberville said.
While the senator condemned the deadly attack and signaled support to Israel, he told CBS 42 he is not changing his stance until the Pentagon’s abortion policy is changed.
Since February, Tuberville has blocked mass military promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse military personnel who have to travel out of state to get an abortion or fertility treatments. The policy was implemented after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Move it back the way it was, and coach [referring to his longtime career as a football coach] will drop the hold on these nominations. It goes both ways. Everybody tends to say it’s my fault, but it’s really not. I’m just standing up for the people that need a vote on this policy. Whether it goes one way or another is yet to be seen. Just move it back, and let’s vote on it like we voted on it in 1985 or 1984 and go on with life,” Tuberville said.
However, the senator called the weekend’s attack by Hamas “atrocious” and a “true disaster.”
“What worries me is Israel going into Gaza and millions of people there that had nothing to do with this, civilians possibly being killed,” Tuberville said. “But I’d like to say this, I’ve been to Israel, they live in a small part of the world, they protect themselves, they got an unbelievable army.”
While the Senate is in recess this week, the senator said once it resumes, if the conflict continues to escalate, their first task will be to pass a supplemental to send funds to Israel.
“We want to make sure that they have everything that they need to de-escalate this war, but also if they get into a fight that we can help them,” Tuberville said.