WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is slamming a fellow Republican in the Senate for waging an unprecedented attempt to change Pentagon abortion policy by holding up hundreds of military nominations and promotions.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville is "paralyzing the Department of Defense."
"The idea that one man in the Senate can hold this up for months, I understand maybe promotions, but nominations," McCaul said. He added, "I think that is a national security problem and a national security issue. And I really wish he would reconsider this."
Tuberville's move has forced less experienced leaders into top jobs and raised concerns at the Pentagon about military readiness. Defense officials say Tuberville is jeopardizing American national security. Senators in both parties, including Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, also have criticized Tuberville.
Tuberville has refused to budge, saying will not drop the holds unless majority Democrats allow a vote on the policy. Democrats argue that a vote o every nominee could tie up the Senate floor for months, and they do not want to give in to Tuberville's demands and encourage similar blockades of nominees in the future.
McCaul said on CNN that the House would be tackling the issue of abortion in the military as part of a sweeping defense spending bill making its way through Congress. In the meantime, he said, "To hold up the top brass from being promoted and lower brass, I think is paralyzing our Department of Defense."