Tuberville Lifts Barrier on Military Promotions

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Tuberville Drops Blockade of Most Military Promotions

Senator Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, ended his year-long blockade of military promotions on Tuesday. Initially protesting a Pentagon policy ensuring abortion access for service members, he now intends to hold up only promotions for the most senior generals.

Following Tuberville’s announcement to allow promotions for around 440 service members, the Senate swiftly confirmed all of them through a unanimous voice vote.

Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer expressed relief, stating, “Thank God. These military officers will now get the promotions they so rightfully earned.”

This marks a significant reversal for Tuberville, who had steadfastly defended his 10-month move to delay senior military promotions over a Pentagon policy offering time off and travel reimbursement for service members seeking abortions or fertility care.

President Biden criticized Tuberville’s actions, saying, “Senator Tuberville, and the Republicans who stood with 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.”

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Under mounting pressure from both Republicans and Democrats, Tuberville lifted the blockade after senators devised a plan to temporarily bypass chamber rules for the confirmation of nearly all military nominees as a bloc, a departure from tradition that some senators were hesitant to support.

Tuberville clarified that he would continue to hold promotions only for the most senior generals, stating, “It’s been a long fight. We fought hard. We did the right thing for the unborn and for our military, fighting back against executive overreach.”

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His decision was met with relief from both sides of the aisle, with Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, calling it “long overdue.”

Pentagon officials welcomed the news but urged Tuberville to lift his holds on senior military promotions as well, emphasizing the importance of a stable chain of command.

Tuberville’s earlier hold required the Senate to individually consider each nomination, leading to a time-consuming process that both Democrats and Republicans found untenable.

The Pentagon policy at the center of the controversy, announced in February, provides service members with leave and reimbursement for transportation expenses related to abortions or fertility treatments. This policy aims to ensure equal access to healthcare for military personnel stationed where such procedures are not readily available.

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