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Senate confirms Gen. Randy George to lead Army, circumventing Tuberville hold


Daily Caller News Foundation

The senate voted to confirm Gen. Randy George as Army’s top military leader on Thursday after Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s blanket hold forced the position to remain empty since Aug. 4.

President Joe Biden nominated George to serve as Army chief of staff in July, but he could not be confirmed into the role until Congress found a solution to Tuberville’s hold, a procedural tactic blocking all three- and four-star promotions. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer finally moved to schedule votes on individual nominees for three vacant positions at the very top of the military chain of command on Wednesday, and the Senate voted 96-1 to confirm Smith, according to the U.S. Senate Periodical Press Gallery.

As the Army’s top military official, George will advise the president, secretary of defense and National Security Council through his role on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and carry out day-to-day duties on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

Gen. James McConville, the Army’s previous chief of staff, retired when his statutory four-year term expired in August.

Only Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah voted against Schumer’s cloture motion, according to the gallery, setting the stage for Thursday afternoon’s vote. Lee was the only holdout in finally confirming Smith.

“And while we Democrats didn’t choose this fight, we are ready to put an end to this sooner rather than later,” Schumer said, according to Punchbowl News. However, he could, in theory, have called for individual votes at any time since Tuberville implemented the blanket hold.

The Senate confirmed U.S. Air Force Gen. C. Q. Brown as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Wednesday night and will begin voting on Gen. Eric Smith to serve as the Marine Corps Commandant later Thursday, according to the Senate periodical.

George promised to turn the Army’s recruiting trajectory around at his confirmation hearing in July.

“Perhaps your most pressing challenge … will be addressing the Army’s recruiting crisis,” committee chairman Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island told George, then the Army’s vice chief of staff. “I would argue that all our own military services are facing their most severe recruiting challenges since the establishment of the volunteer force 50 years ago.”

“It’s the number one challenge that we face and the one thing that we have to be focused on,” George responded.

As recruiting crumbles and Army budgets tighten, he will have to make difficult calls on whether to cut force structure and how to prioritize the Army’s modernization push, according to Defense News.

Roughly 300 military officers still await confirmation. Holding individual votes on each one would consume dozens of working days, but so far Tuberville has signaled he does not intend to back down on the blockade implemented to counter a Pentagon abortion travel policy he argues violates a longstanding legal provision against federal funding of abortion.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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