Reed on Breaking GOP Senator's Block on Military Promotions
REED: Mr. President, I am rejoicing in the orders that Senator Schumer read. The first thing I would like to do is apologize to the hundreds of officers--men and women who dedicated themselves to their country--and also to their families for this unusual, shall we say, disruption of their promotions to ranks they have won through their merit and effort.
I think also, too, that it is important to note the contribution of Senator Sullivan and Senator Ernst and Senator Young and Senator Graham and others. They recognized that military officers are not political pawns; that they are men and women who have dedicated themselves and their families to service, to protect the Constitution of the United States. So they joined in to ensure that, today, we could have these much delayed promotions on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Once again, Mr. President, we have to recognize, in the future, we can never do this again; that these men and women served their lives, decades; they served with courage; they served with integrity; they have served with decency. They do it for this country--not for a political party, not for a cause or a popular emotion. They do it to defend their country. And they are aided every step of the way by their families, by their spouses, by their children. In fact, these spouses and children make as many, if not more, sacrifices than the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardsmen themselves, in my view.
But let us commit that, as we go forward, we shall not view a soldier in the context of a political dynamic but in the context of his or her quality of service, her integrity, her decency, and--above all--their not only solemn obligation but complete life of preserving and defending the Constitution of the United States.
I yield the floor.