Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama took a step back on Tuesday, marking the second time this month, and allowed the Senate to confirm 11 top military nominees unanimously through a voice vote. This comes after months of delaying hundreds of confirmations.
Weeks after the former football coach relinquished most of his holds, which started earlier this year due to his disagreement with the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing service members for reproductive health care travel, this action has been taken.
The hold placed by Senator Rand Paul affected the confirmations of over 450 top military nominees. However, the confirmation of the remaining 11 nominees was finally completed on Tuesday, putting an end to the months-long standoff.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed optimism and shared positive news regarding the approval of the 11 remaining generals. He stated, “That’s good news” following the vote.
Tuberville, who faced bipartisan pressure to end his blanket hold, admitted on December 5 that he had to give in due to the growing backlash within his own party. However, he maintained that his stand had “helped” national security, despite the Pentagon’s warnings about the serious damage his blockade was causing to the military.
Tuberville dismissed the criticism from the Pentagon, expressing his indifference towards their opinions. He criticized administration officials for their failure to engage in negotiations for a compromise with him.
Tuberville expressed his willingness to collaborate with leadership in order to expedite the confirmations. This came after Schumer’s announcement on the Senate floor that the chamber would confirm the remaining top military nominees before the holiday break.