Well, Tommy Tuberville — the former football coach-turned-Senator from Alabama — gave up.
The Republican had been blocking the orderly approval of what eventually became hundreds of military nominees up for consideration by the Senate in protest of support made available by the Defense Department for personnel seeking an abortion. After a months-long dilemma in which personnel responsibilities were reshuffled and the Senate struggled with assembling an updated system for potentially confirming the picks over Tuberville’s blockade, the problem is mostly solved.
“I am proud to congratulate 425 military officers who were just promoted in the Senate. These leaders were recklessly blocked by Sen. Tuberville for months, harming our national security & military families. There are more promotions to approve, but all Americans are safer today,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in remarks released on X (the platform formerly called Twitter).
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, also spoke to the developments. “BREAKING: I just had the Senate unanimously confirm hundreds of military promotions. We’re working to confirm the rest ASAP. Senator Tuberville held out for months, hurt national security and military families, and didn’t get anything he wanted,” a post from the top Democrat said Tuesday afternoon.
Responsibilities associated with the positions whose prospective occupants Tuberville had been blocking had instead been completed on an acting basis, meaning by a temporarily assigned figure filling the role in the absence of Senate-confirmed leadership. This need spurred the months of reshuffling and widely discussed impacts to even the plans of military families whose futures were put in limbo by Tuberville’s incessant complaints.
The Senate had been advancing a plan to set up a new procedural process for confirming the stalled military nominees more quickly, with the measure having just recently received the backing of the Senate Rules Committee, but that proposed process has now become moot for many roles. Tuberville continues blocking the nominees for a comparatively vastly smaller number of higher-ranking military positions.