A Texas Republican representative and former Navy SEAL officer said in a text message to allies that he’s “at a point where I’m going to tear apart (if asked) coach/Senator/non-veteran Tuberville for personally attacking service members who have spent almost 30 years serving our country.”
Politico is reporting that Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said of Tuberville’s hold on military promotions: “I don’t know what outcome he expected, but I’m hearing more and more that his actions are having worsening consequences.”
Tuberville’s office declined to respond to Crenshaw, whose right eye was destroyed by a roadside bomb blast during a 2012 deployment in Afghanistan.
Crenshaw’s comments come as the acting chief of naval operations told senators that it will take the Navy years to recover from Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s procedural hold on promotions.
Stars and Stripes reported that Adm. Lisa Franchetti told the Senate Armed Services Committee it will take three to four months just to get through promotions for three-star officers.
“The Navy’s facing challenges all around the globe, threats from our adversaries. We want to have the right people with the right level of experience in those positions,” Franchetti said.
“And as we continue not to have the confirmed people that we’ve nominated with that experience, we’re going to continue to see an erosion of readiness.”
Franchetti, whose own nomination to permanent chief of naval operations is expected to be stalled by Tuberville, would become the first woman to lead the Navy and serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if confirmed.
Tuberville, a member of the committee, told Franchetti that he looked forward to working with her but did not address his hold.
Half of the eight seats on the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be vacant when its chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley, retires Oct. 1. The Army, Marine Corps and Navy are all without Senate-confirmed leaders due to the hold.
The Alabama senator is refusing to let the Senate move forward on senior military confirmations after the Pentagon announced last year that it would pay allowances for troops and their dependents traveling to obtain abortions in states where they remain legal.
Tuberville began his freeze on confirmation votes in February.
“They are starting to believe me that I meant what I said,” the Alabama Republican said Tuesday on Bloomberg Television’s “Balance of Power.” “We’re not going to have any movement on my side unless they change it back and let’s vote on it. And if it passes, it passes, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Tuberville and other Republicans argue the Senate can hold individual votes on nominees, but a memo released by Senate Democrats argued that take at least 89 days.