Senator Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., announced on Tuesday that he would no longer block military promotions for three-star generals and below. Since February, Tuberville had been preventing the Senate confirmations of numerous U.S. military service members as a protest against the Defense Department’s abortion policy. He stated that he would continue to block four-star general nominees.
Tuberville informed Politico that he had “no control over anybody else putting a hold on somebody. But for myself, they are released as we speak.” He expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “We fought hard. We did the right thing for the unborn and for our military, fighting back against executive overreach and an abortion policy.”
Facing pressure for months to lift his hold, Tuberville’s stance had caused frustration among some Republican colleagues. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had threatened to force a vote on a resolution allowing mass confirmation of military nominations, but it remained uncertain whether he had the necessary votes to pass it.
Senator John Thune, R-S.D., expressed hope on Tuesday morning that Tuberville would end his hold on military promotions. Thune said, “I was involved in a lot of conversations over the weekend on this subject, and I think that I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that today, we’re going to—keep your fingers crossed, we’ll see, I hope we have a breakthrough but time will tell.”
Tuberville’s office had initially scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon but later canceled it. The senator reportedly preferred to inform his GOP colleagues in person over lunch before making a public announcement.
Tea Party Patriots Action Chair Jenny Beth Martin released a statement earlier in the day expressing support for Tuberville. She stated, “Sen. Tuberville deserves our full support, full stop. If his Senate Republican colleagues go behind his back and make a deal with Democrats, they will be making a fateful error.”