Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) announced Tuesday that he is releasing his hold on senior military officer promotions and confirmations that he used to protest against the Biden administration’s abortion policies at the Pentagon.
According to Fox News, Tuberville, who was previously a college football coach, explained that he would not be able to continue blocking military promotions since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “changed the rules” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“I’d love to have had five downs in football instead of four, but you can’t do it. It’s got to be fair for everybody,” Tuberville stated. “So that being said, I’m not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer. We just released them.”
Tuberville told reporters Tuesday that while he still had a hold on roughly 11 four-star generals, he was “completely” releasing all of the other military confirmations and promotions. Asked if he had any regrets about not achieving the intended goal of his months-long protest against the Pentagon’s abortion policies, the Alabama senator said, “It was pretty much a draw. They didn’t get what they wanted. We didn’t get what we wanted.”
According to Fox News, Tuberville first started blocking the president’s military nominations in February due to what he described as the “illegal” policy of the Pentagon using taxpayer funding to cover the cost of military members who travel to have an abortion. The Pentagon’s policy was set in place by the Biden administration after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade as part of its ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case last year.
READ MORE: Merit-based military promotions opposed by Biden admin.
Fox News reported that nearly 400 military nominations had been temporarily blocked by Tuberville’s hold on the promotion and confirmation of senior military officers.
In an effort to bypass the senator’s hold on military promotions, a bipartisan group of senators developed a rules change in October as part of the Senate Rules Committee that would allow nominees to be approved through 2024, according to Fox News. Last week, Schumer announced that a resolution approving the rules change would ultimately be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Addressing Tuberville’s decision to drop his hold on military confirmations and promotions during a Tuesday press conference, Schumer indicated that the Senate would quickly act on the delayed promotions.
“I want to say, in regarding Senator Tuberville, in regards to Tuberville finally lifting his unnecessary and harmful holds on our nation’s military officials, I’m happy that we can finally move forward and give these men and women the promotions they deserve,” he said. “I plan to move these promotions as soon as possible, possibly later this afternoon.”