During an interview with CNN aired on Thursday’s “Situation Room,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) hold on defense nominees over the Pentagon’s policy of paying for travel to obtain abortions “is a national security issue” but he refuses to negotiate with Republicans in Congress who wish to end the policy.
Austin said Tuberville’s hold “is a national security issue. It’s a readiness issue, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves.”
Later, host Wolf Blitzer asked, “Other conservatives are using the annual [Pentagon] defense bill to repeal the Pentagon policy of helping women who serve in the military or serve in the Defense Department get abortions. Is that something you’re willing to deal with, to negotiate with them?”
Austin responded, “Wolf, we have a policy that enables our troops to get access to non-covered…