(RepublicanPress.org) – Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) successfully blocked the confirmation of more than 450 military promotions by the Senate for most of 2023 as part of an effort to force Defense Department officials to change their current policies regarding access to reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. After months of wrangling with Democrats and Republicans alike, Tuberville finally relented, paving the way for senators to confirm the backlog of military promotions involving three-star positions and below.
On December 5, media outlets exploded with the news that Tuberville decided to end his blockade of promotions. The Alabama lawmaker started blocking the confirmation process for military officers in February using an informal Senate practice that paves the way for a member to state their intention to restrict floor actions on measures typically approved by unanimous consent.
The Senate has approved more than 400 promotions for senior military officers after Tommy Tuberville dropped his blockade of the nominations. https://t.co/z5y914bsg1
— POLITICO (@politico) December 5, 2023
According to CBS News, Tuberville spoke to reporters, confirming that he “released” the advancement for “about 440” military officers. Continuing, he said he decided to let all the promotions through for “everybody but 10 or 11 four-star” positions.
The Senate confirmed those nominees shortly after Tuberville removed his block. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the chamber would confirm the remaining advancements by voting on them individually.
At one point, Tuberville’s blockade left several critical positions filled by temporary replacements instead of permanent commanders, including the heads of the Marines, Navy, and Army. Likewise, the outstanding four-star nominees included the commanders of the US Space Command, US Cyber Command, US Pacific Fleet, US Northern Command, and the US Pacific Air Forces.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III issued a brief statement applauding the Senate’s confirmation of 425 general and flag-grade officers. Without naming Tuberville, he said that the senator’s holds had degraded America’s military readiness and forced hardships on several of the country’s “outstanding military families” who had to put their lives on hold and “endure… greater sacrifices.”
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder echoed that sentiment while speaking to reporters at a Defense Department press briefing. He said military brass was “encouraged” by Tuberville’s decision to end his blockade. Ryder advised attendees that military officials would continue to engage with the Alabama senator to urge him to allow the Senate to approve the outstanding four-star promotions.
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