Senator Tommy Tuberville ENDS his blockade of hundreds of military nominees: Republican relents on campaign that lasted months and delayed 400 promotions
Sen. Tommy Tuberville finally lifted his block on hundreds of military promotions on Tuesday, after members of his own party joined Democrats in pressuring him to relent.
The Republican and former Alabama football coach used his influence to protest the Pentagon's payment of abortion-related travel expenses, which halted all promotions of senior military personnel for 10 consecutive months.
He said Tuesday he would eliminate most of them. Shortly thereafter, the Senate promoted approximately 425 military promotions in one move.
President Joe Biden cheered the news as he took another shot at Tuberville on an issue that put the Republican Party on the defensive.
“After ten months of undermining military readiness and the morale of our troops, Senator Tuberville of Alabama has finally lifted his politically motivated hold on hundreds of military nominations. 425 highly qualified, patriotic military leaders have now been confirmed by the Senate to perform their duties while fulfilling their sacred oath to keep our country safe. These confirmations are long overdue and should never have been delayed in the first place,” Biden said in a statement.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said he kept a hold on 11 four-star generals but would lift his hold on military promotions after a months-long blockade.
Biden seemed unwilling to let bygones be bygones. “Our service members are the backbone of our country and deserve to receive the pay and promotions they have earned. In the end, this was all pointless. Senator Tuberville, and the Republicans who supported him, needlessly hurt hundreds of service members and military families and threatened our national security – all to push a partisan agenda. I hope no one forgets what he did,” he said, adding, “Those who serve this nation deserve better.”
“Thank God these military officers will now receive the promotion they so rightly deserve,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a speech on the Senate floor, where he thanked senators from both parties who helped resolve the impasse. breaking through.
Tuberville's actions have affected approximately 400 officers and their families, as well as lower-ranking officers in the military. Pentagon leaders have said the holds threatened national security.
“I still have, I think, eleven four-star generals in my hands. All others have been fully released by me,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“I hope no one forgets what he did,” President Biden fumed in a statement that also celebrated the end of the Tuberville blockade
'It was actually a draw. They didn't get what they wanted. “We didn't get what we wanted,” he said.
His withdrawal comes without securing a policy concession, while he faces the threat that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer could propose a proposal that would end his blockade.
“We got all we could get,” he said.
His tactics drew angry resistance from the White House, which highlighted the pressure on the chain of command and on military families during the war in Ukraine and threats in the Pacific — exacerbated by Israel's war against Hamas. President Biden called his grip on military promotions “ridiculous.”
Tuberville, a social conservative from Alabama, began blocking confirmations for top Pentagon posts in March to protest a Pentagon policy issued last year that provides paid leave and reimbursement for military personnel traveling for abortions to get.
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., prepared to call for a measure that would bypass the Tuberville blockade
Tuberville held back high military promotions for ten months
That policy came after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving some military personnel stationed at bases where they could not access the proceedings.
Democrats have said Tuberville should show his objections on a policy issue by targeting Biden nominees involved in the policy, rather than non-political military officials.
He had signaled last week that he might finally give up after Senate Republicans took the floor to highlight military nominees who could not accept their new positions, or whose families could not enroll in new schools while the political knot remained. confused.
“Whether you believe it or not, Senator Tuberville, this is wreaking havoc on our military,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Donald Trump ally like Tuberville who represents a state with a strong military presence.
“Why would you punish them for something they had nothing to do with,” Graham asked.
“Folks, if this continues, people will leave,” he said.
“I know these people need promotions,” Tuberville said last week.