Senate approves remaining military promotions blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Senate approves remaining military promotions blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., removed his blockade on the promotions of 11 four-star generals on Tuesday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 20 (UPI) — The U.S. Senate Tuesday evening unanimously confirmed the promotions of nearly a dozen military service members who remained blocked for months by Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s protest against the military’s abortion policies.

Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, had held up the promotions of more than 400 service members since early last year over the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse service members for traveling out of state to receive the controversial medical practice.

The move attracted staunch criticism from democrats, and earlier this month, he relented, permitting all but 11 four-star generals to be confirmed.

And on Tuesday, despite receiving no concessions, he dropped his final objection to the near dozen high-ranking military officials.

“These 11 flag officers have now been approved, joining the rest of their colleagues who we approved a few weeks ago,” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said from the Senate floor following the confirmation.

“That’s good news.”

Tuberville began his protest in February, blocking more than 400 military promotions in opposition to the Pentagon granting service members administrative leave and travel expenses to receive an abortion.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had issued the new policies in an October 2022 memo as many Republican-led states had sought to ban abortions in the wake of the conservative-leaning Supreme Court repealing federal protections for the medical practice by overturning the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling.

Tuberville’s protest had attracted strong and growing criticism from Democrats the longer it went on over accusations that it posed a threat to national security with crucial positions left vacant.

Prior to the confirmation, Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that they were prepared to stay in the Senate until they confirmed the remaining 11 service members affected by Tuberville’s blanket blockade.

“Collectively, these 11 officers have won over 250 major awards, from the Purple Heart to the Legion of Merit,” he said. “To me, they have received their promotions because of the quality of their service and their selfish sacrifice to the nation, and they have to be promoted.”  » …
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