After a long 10-month holdout, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville (R) has announced that he plans to end his blockade of military promotions.
“I’m not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer," said Sen. Tuberville
"We just released them – about 440 of them. Everybody but 10 or 11 four-stars.”
Earlier in the year, Sen. Tuberville had a much different stance on the issue.
“The Pentagon clearly thinks forcing taxpayers to facilitate abortion is more important than confirming their top nominees without a vote. They could end this situation TODAY by dropping their illegal and immoral policy and get everyone confirmed rapidly, but they refuse,” said Sen. Tuberville spokesperson Steve Stafford.
Sen. Tuberville initially started his lengthy blockade in protest of new legislation related to abortion. His qualms with the legislation stemmed from certain state governments paying for military members to be able to leave the state to get an abortion.
Both the legislation and Tuberville’s actions were controversial. However, there was a bipartisan push for the senator to end his military blockade, as the measure was causing the hold-up of over 400 promotions.
The former football coach stated that the movement did not yield the results he desired.
“It's been a long fight. We fought hard,” said the senator.
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby expressed his relief at the news that Tuberville would be ending his blockade. However, the coordinator still expressed his desire for all of the promotions to be unblocked.
“First of all, obviously we're glad to see that the hold's going to get lifted," said Kirby.
"That will free up these several hundred officers, they now move on with their lives, take new assignments, lead our troops in — in critical missions. But we've got to get those four stars confirmed as well, because they're leading at the very top leadership level. They're responsible for some very very strategic issues around the world. We need to see them confirmed as well, just as soon as possible.”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D), who confirmed the 400-plus nominees, stated he would work to get the other nominees unblocked as well.