There are now a few exceptions to the months-long blockade of orderly military confirmations in the Senate originated by the chamber’s Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican.
Tuberville has been objecting to military nominations now reaching well into the hundreds in outrage over the Defense Department providing travel support to personnel seeking an abortion, and the extensive time on the floor that would be needed to hold individual votes on each nomination has proven a hurdle to overcoming the Senator’s antics. But now, there’s some progress.
The Senate voted this week on three nominations for some of the top posts in the military, including the highest ranking uniformed positions at the Marine Corps and Army. The third nominee was to replace Mark Milley, who is departing his position as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — a group in which those holding the prominent Marine Corps and Army roles normally participate. Tuberville had made a show of moving to force at least some voting, which was notable since it was his own antics that created the difficulties around getting nominees approved. However, reporting identified Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as essentially one-upping the Republican and having gone ahead with the matter on the Senate floor.
Democrats have criticized, beyond Tuberville’s ongoing objections, his insistence on a more selective process of essentially picking and choosing while considering these military nominees. Now, General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. is finally on his way to a Senate-backed stint as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after 83 votes in the chamber in his favor and only 11 against him. The opposition was from Republicans including Tuberville himself. Also voting “no” were well-known figures like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Ron Johnson.
The picks for leadership at the Army and Marine Corps were both confirmed with 96 votes in their favor. Gen. Randy A. George, who will now become Chief of Staff of the Army, received the only opposition between those two — a single “no” vote from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).