Tommy Tuberville releasing hold on hundreds of military promotions

December 5, 2023

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) announced Tuesday he would be lifting his months-long hold on hundreds of military promotions. 

Tuberville said he was agreeing to an idea presented by Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to release the promotions for three star nominees and below—the vast majority of the nominees. He is still demanding votes on 4-star Generals and officers, though that’s roughly ten of the outstanding 350 or so nominations.

Tuberville’s announcement comes about two weeks after the Senate Rules Committee had voted to change there rules to break though his blockade on promotions by allowing en masse voting, as opposed to individual votes, on all but the highest-ranking military positions.

One Senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee—in this case, Tuberville—is able to hold up potentially countless military promotions through a Senate procedure called “unanimous consent.”

Tuberville has used unanimous consent to block hundreds of nominations amid his demand that the government stop paying for service members to travel across state lines to obtain abortions—which the American Medical Association reported last month would cost in total about $1 million annually, or  0.008% of the current $816.7 billion military budget.

Had Tuberville continued his blockade, the total number of potential military promotions he would have blocked would have grown to 650 by the end of December. 

The Senator’s intransigence on the issue has raised the hackles of not just Democrats but many of his fellow Republicans as well—including Sullivan, who said at one point about Tuberville’s hamstringing the U.S. military, “Xi Jinping is loving this. So is Putin. How dumb can we be, man?”

PHOTO: Tuberville on Senate floor in July

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