Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama took a victory lap Wednesday, saying that his hold on military promotions was still in place after Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York filed cloture motions on multiple nominations for high-ranking posts.
Tuberville launched the hold on most senior military promotions in March to protest the Pentagon’s policy of paying for female servicemembers to travel for out-of-state abortions after a number of states placed restrictions on the procedure. Schumer filed cloture petitions to force votes on the nominations of Air Force General Charles Q. Brown to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Eric M. Smith to be the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and Army General Randy George to be the chief of staff of the U.S. Army Wednesday, which Tuberville had suggested could be done in a July 10 release.
The Pentagon announced it would cover travel expenses for female military personnel who were seeking abortions in February.
.@SenTuberville addresses Schumer folding on military promotions: “My hold is still in place. The hold will remain in place as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place. If the Pentagon lifts the policy, then I will lift my hold. It’s as easy as that.” pic.twitter.com/PorzPFztXU
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 20, 2023
“My hold is still in place,” Tuberville said during a speech on the Senate floor. “The hold will remain in place as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place. If the Pentagon lifts the policy, then I will lift my hold. It’s as easy as that.”
Biden administration officials, including Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, criticized Tuberville over the blanket holds, which left a number of senior billets unfilled for weeks. Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley also called out Tuberville’s hold.
The Senate is required to confirm three-star and four-star flag and general officers when they receive new assignments, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
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