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Tommy Tuberville says military holds could be resolved in about a week

Nov 30, 2023

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has put a blanket hold on senior military promotions since February to protest a Pentagon policy that provides paid time off and travel expense reimbursement for military members who get an abortion. There are more than 350 military officers waiting to be promoted. Now, 10 months later, Tuberville said he expects a solution in the next week or so.

“We will promote people in the very near future. I don’t know how many at one time,” Tuberville told reporters. “Because we do want to stand up for life and the taxpayers not having to pay for anything to do with abortion and get these people that need to be promoted, promoted.”

Tuberville needs to decide what he’s going to do before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., brings forward a resolution that would allow a bipartisan majority of 60 senators to override the hold and approve the promotions en bloc. 

“Members on both sides of the aisle are reaching a boiling point with Senator Tuberville, and before the year is out we are going to act to bring his blockade to an end,” Schumer said. 

Schumer said he will bring the resolution up for a vote in the coming weeks. 

“I don’t think he’s got the votes,” Tuberville said. 

But even if there currently aren’t enough votes, there may be soon. For the resolution to be approved, nine Republicans would have to join all 51 Democrats.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told The Hill that he would support the resolution if no solution is reached by the new year. The second highest-ranking Republican, Sen. John Thune, N.D., wouldn’t rule out voting for it, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would vote for it if necessary.

“I’m hoping that it’s not necessary. But if I have to I would, yeah,” Graham said. 

Republicans are hesitant to back the rules change because it could set a precedent for future rules changes on other promotions and nominees.

Tuberville has been strongly criticized both in public and behind the scenes by his fellow Republicans for the hold. Many members of the GOP oppose the Pentagon abortion policy just like Tuberville, but they don’t think the hold is the right way to handle it. 

Tuberville has never wavered in stating his belief that he’s doing this the right reasons.

“It’s the only way that we’ve been able to get the attention of the Democrats. I mean, and it’s the only, only thing that you have to get their attention when you have no power,” Tuberville said of Republicans being in minority. “And so we’ve got their attention. And we’ve had them stirred up pretty good. But at the end of the day, I understand the need for promotions.”

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has put a blanket hold on senior military promotions since February to protest a Pentagon policy that provides PTO and travel expense reimbursement for military members who get an abortion. There are more than 350 military officers waiting to be promoted. But now, ten months later, he said he expects a solution in the next week or so. 

 

“We will promote people in the very near future. I don’t know how many at one time,” Tuberville told reporters. “Because we do want to stand up for life and the taxpayers not having to pay for anything to do with abortion and get these people that need to be promoted, promoted.”

 

Sen.Tuberville needs to decide what he’s going to do before Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., brings forward a resolution that would allow a bipartisan majority of 60 Senators to override the hold and approve the promotions en bloc. 

 

“Members on both sides of the aisle are reaching a boiling point with Senator Tuberville, and before the year is out we are going to act to bring his blockade to an end,” Schumer said. 

 

Schumer says he will bring the resolution to the floor in the coming weeks. 

 

“I don’t think he’s got the votes,” Tuberville said

 

But even if there aren’t enough votes right now, there may be soon. For the resolution to be approved, nine Republicans would have to join all 51 Democrats.  

 

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told The Hill he’d support it if no solution is reached by the new year, the second highest ranking Republican Sen. John Thune, N.D., wouldn’t rule out voting for it, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he would.

 

“I’m hoping that it’s not necessary. But if I have to I would, yeah,” Graham said. 

 

Republicans are hesitant to back the rules change because it could set a precedent for future rules changes on other promotions and nominees. 

 

Tuberville has been strongly criticized both in public and behind the scenes by his fellow Republicans for his hold. Many members of the GOP oppose the Pentagon abortion policy just like Tuberville, but they don’t think the hold is the right way to handle it.