With debate on the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act continuing in the upper chamber, Sen. Tommy Tuberville is expressing frustration with the process and some of the Biden administration’s defense priorities.
Last week, the House passed the NDAA by a vote of 350-80, sending it to the Senate. The bill allocates tax dollars to the Pentagon and totals $847 billion, with much of that money going to the defense infrastructure in the Yellowhammer State.
According to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), “This year’s NDAA also continues to bolster the crucial role that Alabama plays in our national defense by reversing President Biden’s dangerous cuts to our missile defense, supporting the work done at the Anniston Army Depot and expanding and modernizing our shipbuilding, among other initiatives.”
Wednesday, Tuberville (R-Auburn) discussed the NDAA and the state of national security on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
“It’s typical this administration speaks out both sides of its mouth,” Tuberville said, “you know, they’re putting all kinds of regulations on our defense contractors making these missiles and defense missiles. And they want to study the impact of bombs on the environment.”
The lawmaker stressed the need to stop woke politics from damaging the nation’s military strength.
“We need to have a killing machine, and people across the seas that are our adversaries need to understand that,” he said. “Lloyd Austin needs to understand it. Our generals, General Milley, everybody in the military needs to understand it. We need to step up our game. We’re not stepping up our game other than the fact of worrying about all these woke policies that they want to put in the military, teaching CRT, kicking people out because of the vaccine mandates.
“Our recruiting is atrocious in the military right now. Why would you get in the military if you’re treated, like that? A lot of these young people don’t want to be involved in it.”
When it comes to helping Ukraine in its war against Russia, Tuberville said there’s bipartisan support for sending them assistance, but it needs to be done “the right way.”
“We’re getting intel that there’s going to be more of a missile war than a ground war,” he said. “And so, they need to be protected, but there’s a lot of questions with this. First of all, do we have enough to give? We’ve got them all over NATO. It takes a lot of training, Maria, to do this, and we do not need to send our people in there running these machines. Hopefully, it’s a quick process but it’s not a quick process to train on these Patriots.
“This is going to get ugly, Putin’s not going to sit back and let up on Ukraine, he’s going to let them have it. And if this will help, we’re all for it, but we got to do it the right way.”
The senator also was critical of the process leading up to finally getting the defense spending passed.
“We passed the NDAA and in (committee0 meetings back in June,” he said. “They use it up here as a political ploy. They’ve been wanting to just load things down, Maria, with … non-defense. This is something that should have been done three months ago. We should have put some kind of clause in there for inflation. If we don’t have defense of this country, we’re in a huge problem. And as you said earlier, China is sprinting, outsprinting us, to the finish line in space, in the ground, on the sea, in the air, and we’re sitting back watching it happen.
“We’ve got to make our mind up if we want to protect the American people with this administration or are we going to worry about all these woke agenda priorities that they have. This is the most important thing going right now – the defense of our country in defense of our allies.”
Tuberville said the Democratic leadership in the Senate is mostly responsible for any issues that have arisen in trying to get this bill done.
“(Republicans are) in the minority,” he said. “Leader Schumer is a guy that – he uses politics at every angle, and he knows that the NDAA is important to the Republicans and that he could pretty much get what he wants on that. But we’ve held his feet to the fire. McConnell has told him, ‘Hey, clean this thing up. We’re not voting for all this crap that they put on there.’ So hopefully, we can get more done, and quicker, next year.”