Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro blasted Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) on Tuesday over his continued hold on military promotions, saying that the senator is hurting American military readiness.
“As someone who was born in a communist country, I never would have imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communist and other autocratic regimes,” Del Toro, who was born in Cuba, said in a CNN interview.
“This is having a real negative impact and will continue to have a real negative impact on our combat readiness,” he continued.
Tuberville has stopped all military officer promotions, at all levels, for six months out of protest of the Department of Defense’s policies allowing military service members to receive abortion care. The controversial blockage has come under widespread criticism from Democrats, the White House, military leaders and advocates and even Alabama voters.
Fellow Republicans have attempted to negotiate with the senator to stop the protest, but have so far failed.
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall also spoke to CNN on Tuesday about the promotion block.
“What Sen. Tuberville is doing, is doing significant damage to our national security,” he said.
The interview comes after Del Toro, Kendall and Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth published an op-ed in The Washington Post earlier Tuesday calling on Tuberville to drop his protests.
“Any claim that holding up the promotions of top officers does not directly damage the military is wrong — plain and simple,” they wrote.
The lack of promotions could lead many of the military’s brightest to leave the service for better employment elsewhere, the secretaries argued.
“Throughout our careers in national security, we have deeply valued the bipartisan support shown for our service members and their families,” the secretaries continued.
“But rather than seeking a resolution to this impasse in that spirit, Tuberville has suggested he is going to further escalate this confrontation by launching baseless political attacks against these men and women.”
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