Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy on Tuesday reportedly accused Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of being “prepared to burn the military down” on Tuesday, following Tuberville’s monthslong hold of hundreds of military promotions over the Pentagon’s abortion policy.
He told reporters that he is hopeful Senate Republicans will work across the aisle to devise a “creative solution” to pass military promotions after the August recess, according to The Hill.
“I think everybody’s been hoping that Sen. Tuberville would back down, and I think we have to come to the conclusion that that is not happening and that he is prepared to burn the military down,” Murphy said.
“Maybe Republicans were hopeful that leading up to the August break he would relent. He didn’t, and we now have to adjust our strategy,” he added.
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Sen. Chris Murphy is seen during the second day of the Warsaw Security Forum. (Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Murphy called on Senate GOP members to discuss a “very targeted, temporary change in process,” but has not discussed this strategy with Democratic leaders and has dismissed any chance of Democrats moving to confirm promotions individually.
Tuberville’s actions have faced bipartisan criticism, including from Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“I understand Republicans are not going to go for a permanent change in the rules, but I just think we have to start thinking creatively about breaking this logjam,” Murphy explained. “There is no world in which we can use floor time for these nominations. It’s logistically impossible to do these nominations through regular order.”
“Maybe when we get back in September there will be some openness to creative solutions. Tuberville is not going to back down. He thinks he’s become a celebrity folk hero in the fringe right,” he continued. “He’s having the time of his life. If you want the military to function, you’re going to have to find a creative way to get around this guy because it doesn’t feel like he’s backing down.”
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Sen. Tommy Tuberville speaks to reporters outside the Senate chamber in the Capitol on Thursday, July 13, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
In a Fox News article last month, Tuberville argued that Democrats are the ones jeopardizing the military readiness by pushing a progressive agenda and politicizing the military.
Speaking on the “Ingraham Angle” on Monday, he said that the policy was “very extreme.”
“Look, I’ve got holds on these nominees, but they could push these nominees through one at a time. I’ve only got holds for groups of them at a time. I’ve got holds on every one of them, but they can bring them one a time to the floor, but Chuck Schumer doesn’t want to work…” Tuberville said. “They’ve got the floor, but they don’t want to do any work with it. They want to just push these through and I’m not going to allow that to happen.”
Sen. Mark Warner, speaks during a hearing on worldwide threats, in Washington, D.C., on March 8, 2023. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
“No surprise to see Democrats try to change the rules of the game when they’re losing. But, it’s remarkable to see that Democrat senators want the Senate to have less power and less oversight over the executive branch,” Tuberville’s communications director Steven Stafford told Fox News in an email responding to Murphy’s comments on Wednesday morning.
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Stafford pointed Fox News to recent comments made to CNN by Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.
“Maybe we need another gang to come up with a set of rules changes, but the vast majority of us who understand these tools should be used sparingly, I think we need to raise our voices,” Warner remarked.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.