Ernst pressures GOP senator to drop holds on military promotions

WASHINGTON — Iowa’s Joni Ernst is among five U.S. senators who’ve publicly pleaded with a fellow Republican senator to end his blockade of military promotions.

“We must do right by them and the security and protection of our own nation,” Ernst said last night on the Senate floor.

Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville objects to Pentagon policy that covers travel costs for soldiers who must travel out of state to get an abortion and he’s placed a hold on over 370 military promotions the senate must confirm. Ernst said she’s “unabashedly” pro-life, but punishing soldiers who didn’t propose the policy is the wrong approach.

“Truly. individuals who have served our nation through thick and thin,” Ernst said. “These are folks that deserve to be promoted.”

For more than four hours last night, Ernst and her GOP colleagues spoke of the qualifications of 61 officers up for promotion and asked for a vote in the Senate on each one of them. Tuberville had previously said he did not object to voting on the nominees individually, but Tuberville objected to each one last night. Ernst and her colleagues grew increasingly angry at Tuberville.

“We have done the best that we can to honor the request of a fellow senator that these nominations be brought to the floor and voted on individually and I really respect men of their word,” Ernst said. “I do not respect men who do not honor their word.”

Ernst accused Tuberville of acting dishonorably and, at one point, noted he was blocking a promotion for an Auburn graduate. Tuberville was a football coach at Auburn.