Sinema Has Allied Herself With Senator Tommy Tuberville, Who Has Held Up Military Promotions – including Key National Security Positions – to Protest Abortion Care for Service Members
Kyrsten Sinema has long proclaimed herself to be pro-choice. But we know that when push came to shove, she joined Republicans in blocking the Senate from passing abortion rights protections into law in the last Congress. Now, she’s gone a step further and is helping fuel the flames for the Republican Senator from Alabama in his fight against the Pentagon to stop active duty troops from getting access to abortion care.
The message to Sinema from all corners has been resounding: when it comes to health care for our troops – including abortion care – there is no ‘middle ground.’ Instead of seeking the spotlight for her negotiating skills, she should simply call on Senator Tuberville to end his outrageous, dangerous, and unprecedented attack on our troops.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s other Senator, retired Navy pilot and astronaut Mark Kelly said: “This blockade of military promotions is doing real damage to our national security right now. It’s doing great harm to military families and it’s going to have cascading effects for years … I don’t think the senator from Alabama gets it.” Unfortunately, neither does Kyrsten Sinema.
News coverage below:
NBC: Sinema calls for Biden admin and Tuberville to find ‘middle ground’ in abortion standoff
Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur | August 17, 2023
According to a recording obtained by NBC News, Sinema told a meeting of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce last week that she has “offered” to help both sides come to a consensus.
[…] Her call for the Pentagon and Tuberville to compromise puts Sinema, whose seat comes up for re-election in a crucial swing state next fall, at odds with President Joe Biden and the rest of the Democratic Party, who have blasted Tuberville for what they call a dangerous gambit and insisted that the standoff will end only when he backs off. Tuberville has faced criticism from the Department of Defense leadership and even some Republicans who worry the blockade could hamper military readiness.
[…] Asked Tuesday if there’s any possibility the Pentagon will change policy to compromise with Tuberville, Department of Defense spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters, “No.”
Arizona Republic: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema seeks ‘middle ground’ on abortion fight stalling military promotions
Ron Hansen | August 18, 2023
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has offered to help seek “middle ground” in the standoff pitting a Republican senator against the White House and Pentagon over a policy allowing government reimbursement for travel costs tied to abortion procedures.
[…]Tuberville has used Senate rules to hold up military promotions because the Pentagon allows travel compensation to military members who had to leave their bases to access health care unavailable to them locally. That policy includes women who seek abortion services in states where those services are no longer available since the Supreme Court decision last year left the matter to each state.
MSNBC: Sinema’s flawed plan to find ‘common ground’ between Tuberville, DOD
Steve Benen | August 18, 2023
Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s blockade on U.S. military promotions is currently affecting 301 high-level positions in his own country’s military. In the coming months, that number will grow considerably: The Alabama Republican’s anti-abortion tantrum is poised to affect 650 positions.
With this in mind, U.S. military leaders want Tuberville to stand down and stop undermining the armed forces. Retired military leaders agree. So do veterans. And every living former secretary of Defense. And congressional Democrats. And the White House. And miliary spouses. And his own Republican colleagues. And a majority of people living in Alabama.
[…] What Tuberville needs to do is start acting responsibly and end this indefensible blockade. What the Arizona independent is proposing is a compromise plan that would ensure the Alabaman gets something for causing trouble.
In other words, under Sinema’s approach, Tuberville would effectively be rewarded for spending most of the year undermining his own country’s military.
KPHO ABC 3: Veterans skeptical of Sinema compromise as military promotions on hold over abortion policy
August 18, 2023
Some Arizona veterans are skeptical that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema can break a deadlock over military promotions in the upper chamber without risking access to abortion for the women who currently serve in uniform.
“Tell me what the compromise is. Just stop throwing words out like compromise mediate and tell me what that means,” said Signa Oliver, a former Army officer.
Arizona Republic: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wrongly seeks ‘middle ground’ with senator shaking down the military
EJ Montini | August 21, 2023
So, last week, Sinema volunteered her services to end a dispute between the Department of Defense and Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who is holding up hundreds of military promotions while demanding that the Pentagon change its policy of granting leave and travel expenses for military personnel who cannot obtain an abortion in the state where they are stationed.
Tuberville’s hold has left the Marine Corps without a commandant for the first time since the Civil War.
[…] Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, a former Navy pilot and astronaut, said of Tuberville’s shakedown, “This blockade of military promotions is doing real damage to our national security right now. It’s doing great harm to military families and it’s going to have cascading effects for years … I don’t think the senator from Alabama gets it.”
[…] If Tuberville gets the concessions he wants, it would be a blueprint for any senator hoping to change public policy by way of political extortion.
[…]… instead of seeking “middle ground” with an anti-abortion fanatic putting our military readiness at risk, Sinema should be trying to convince her colleagues to alter the Senate rule that allows a single misguided senator to do such a thing.
MSNBC: Dem senator: Tuberville made a ‘smoking gun confession’ on blockade
Steven Benen | August 21, 2023
[…] The right-wing Alabaman has spent most of the year following through on his radical and unprecedented tactics, which apparently won’t end anytime soon.
What is new is Tuberville’s defense. The Republican senator has tried to defend his approach by taking aim at the Pentagon’s policy on travel reimbursements for U.S. troops who have to travel for reproductive care. Tuberville has said he’d be willing to allow the Senate to confirm pending military nominees — who have broad, bipartisan support — just as soon as the Defense Department eliminates these benefits for servicemembers and aligns military policies with his beliefs.
Alternet: ‘No’: Pentagon rejects Sinema’s ‘middle ground’ proposal to end Tuberville’s military blockade
Brandon Gage | August 17, 2023
[…] Department of Defense spokesperson Sabrina Singh declared that the Pentagon is not going to acquiesce to Tuberville’s demands.
“No, we’re not going to change our policy on ensuring that every single service member has equitable access to reproductive healthcare,” Singh told reporters on Tuesday. “If you are a service member stationed in a state that has rolled back or restricted healthcare access, you are often stationed there because you were assigned there. It is not that you chose to go there. And so a service member in Alabama deserves to have the same access to healthcare as a service member in California, as a service member stationed in Korea.”
Wonkette: Kyrsten Sinema Being A Dingbat Again, This Time About Abortion
Robyn Pennacchia | August 18, 2023
[…] Kyrsten Sinema cares deeply about abortion rights, except when it comes to doing literally anything to preserve them.
This time, she is asking the Biden administration to stop being so mean to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville just because he is putting thousands of military families in a financial bind by holding up military promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse service members when they have to travel out-of-state for a medical procedure — including abortions.