Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, on Tuesday blocked nearly all military promotions he has delayed for nearly a year in protest of a Pentagon policy to ensure access to abortion for service members. Generals.
Allowing promotions of around 440 service members, Mr. Hours after Tuberville’s remarks, the Senate confirmed them all by a unanimous voice vote.
“Thank God,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, after he presented the promotions. “These military officers will now receive their rightfully earned promotions.”
This retreat Mr. In a stark reversal for Tuberville, she has for 10 months staunchly defended her move to freeze all senior military promotions through a new Pentagon policy that provides leave and travel reimbursements for service members seeking abortions or fertility care.
With his blockade, the first-term senator single-handedly disrupted the Pentagon’s ability to fill top positions and blocked hundreds of promotions. Other officers in senior positions were left to operate on an “active” basis, unable to assign men to their new posts or move into the quarters that came with the job.
“Ultimately, it makes no sense,” President Biden said in a statement. “Senator Tuberville and the Republicans who stood with him needlessly injured hundreds of service members and military families and threatened our national security – all to push a partisan agenda. I hope no one will forget what he did.
From both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, Mr. The reversal came amid mounting pressure on Tuberville.
Mr. Tuberville said Tuesday that he decided to lift the blockade after senators devised a plan to temporarily circumvent the chamber’s rules. That would have been a major break with tradition and one many senators in both parties were reluctant to take.
“It’s been a long fight,” Mr. Tuberville told reporters. “We fought hard. We did the right thing for the unborn and for our military, fighting against the executive.
Referring to the four-star generals, Mr. Tuberville said. “They will continue.”
Mr. Tuberville’s decision was bewildered by Republicans and Democrats alike for his strategy. Senator Jack Reid of Rhode Island, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Mr. He said Tuberville’s decision was “long overdue.”
Mr. Reed said. “Our aim now is to reassure all those officers – and never, ever return to such behaviour.”
“Army officers are not political icons,” he continued. “You can’t move them around the playing board to get something else you want.”
At the Pentagon, officials welcomed the news, but Mr. Tuberville insisted.
“As evidenced by everything that’s going on in the world right now, we have a very important job in protecting this nation, and anytime you add uncertainty to the chain of command, it creates unnecessary friction,” Brig said. . General Patrick S. Ryder, Pentagon press secretary.
“We will continue to engage with Senator Tuberville in the Senate to remove all restrictions on our general flag officer appointments,” he added.
Mr. Tuberville’s hold meant that the Senate was forced to pass individual nominations one by one to promote military officers, holding a series of votes on each to avoid his objections.
Mr. Schumer did so. But Democrats and Republicans agreed that continuing to consider hundreds of promotions individually would be time-consuming and unacceptable.
Announced in February Mr. Tuberville’s targeted policy allows service members to take leave and reimburse travel expenses if they need to travel to obtain an abortion or certain fertility treatments.
Leaving the nation with a patchwork of state abortion laws, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Its mission is to provide equal access to health care to military personnel who cannot choose where they live.
Carl Hulse, Karoon Demirjian And Helen Cooper Contributed report.