This is now the first time in the history of the Defense Department that three military services are without Senate-confirmed leaders.
The Navy joined the Army and Marine Corps Tuesday in not having an official leader. This is because Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville is continuing his blanket hold on military nominations to protest the DOD’s policy that pays for abortions.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is now accusing Tuberville of “undermining America’s military readiness.” Tuberville responded, arguing there’s no significant impact and that replacement leaders are still operating in an acting capacity.
Reuters Pentagon Correspondent Idrees Ali explained how the impasse could affect the military for years to come.
Ultimately, the senator’s hold does not prevent the Senate from bringing each nomination to the floor for a vote, but this process could take up to three months.