Earlier this year, Tuberville initiated a hold on votes for military nominations and promotions in response to an announcement that Biden’s Department of Defense would cover the costs incurred by servicemembers forced to travel out of state to receive reproductive care. Tuberville has argued the Defense Department’s policy conflicts with the Dobbs decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion last year.
Hundreds of top military positions currently remain without a Senate-confirmed permanent officeholder.
Brown, Biden noted, became the first Black person to lead any branch of the Armed Services when he was confirmed as Air Force chief of staff in 2020. If confirmed, Brown would be the first Black Joint Chiefs chair in 30 years, since the late Gen. Colin Powell held the position.
“That’s who I’ve nominated,” Biden said. “He’s waiting.”
Biden also lauded Franchetti’s credentials, and the historic nature of her nomination to the Chief of Naval Operations role. Franchetti would become the first woman to serve as a member of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff if confirmed.
“I’ve also nominated other outstanding leaders of all backgrounds,” Biden said. “We need them. Right now, tens of thousands of America’s daughters and sons are deployed around the world tonight keeping us safe from immense national security challenges. But the Senator from Alabama is not.”
Biden also emphasized his support for the Department of Defense policy Tuberville has dug in against. The Alabama senator has committed to maintaining the hold until the Department of Defense reneges on the policy or Senate leadership agrees to hold a vote on the issue.
The Senate voiced overwhelming support for the annual Department of Defense policy bill Thursday night, setting up a contentious debate with the House over the the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy.