A Senate fight over abortion is holding up Air Force appointments, including one at Langley-Eustis
Since March, Republican U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has held up the vote for all top officers in the military over a disagreement with the Pentagon’s abortion policy.
Roughly 45 percent of the nominees are from the Air Force. The appointments include the replacement for Gen. Mark Kelly at Air Combat Command, headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, according to the Air Force.
The Air Force says the delay in appointing 89 top officers affects commands around the world.
“These are critical positions overseeing the management of the Nation’s nuclear triad operations and deterrence; joint coalition air campaigns…The impacts extend beyond the nominees themselves to their families,” said Rose Riley, an Air Force spokesman, in a written statement.
The freshman Republican has taken issue with the Pentagon’s policy which allows troops to take leave to seek abortion services in states where it remains more widely available. Recently, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnel has said he does not support the delay on approving the nominees.
The Pentagon estimates the total backlog among all services could grow to over 500 top officers by the end of the year.
Under the rules of the U.S Senate, without unanimous consent, each appointment must be debated separately, creating a legislative log-jam.