Navy will take ‘years to recover’ from Tuberville military hold, says Biden nominee

It will take the Navy “years to recover” from Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) months-long hold on hundreds of military promotions, according to President Biden’s nominee to next lead the service.

“It will take years to recover from … the promotion delays that we will see going forward,” Adm. Lisa Franchetti told lawmakers during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider her nomination for chief of naval operations.

Tuberville since the spring has held firm on a blockade against more than 300 nonpolitical military promotions over his objection to the Pentagon’s policy to allow service members leave time and travel expenses to seek abortions outside of the states where they are based.

Tuberville has refused to budge on his hold despite growing pressure from Senate Republican colleagues and leaders.

Military officials, meanwhile, have repeatedly argued that the blockade hurts military readiness by keeping key leaders out of their intended jobs and adding stress to military families, putting national security in jeopardy.

Franchetti echoed that thinking Thursday, telling senators that Tuberville’s hold has created “a lot of uncertainty” for Naval families.

“We ask a lot of our families to move, uproot, find new schools, find new jobs for spouses, and I have heard a lot of concerns from our families that they are having difficulty navigating that space right now,” she said.

If confirmed, Franchetti, who has been vice chief of naval operations since last fall, will be the first woman to hold the position of the Navy’s highest-ranking officer. She will also be the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden nominated Franchetti in July, noting then that she had already made history as the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the Navy.

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