Military Confirmation Gridlock Continues in the Senate

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, speaks to reporters outside the Senate chamber in the Capitol on July 13, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Sen. Tommy Tuberville for months has been blocking military promotions and confirmations to protest Pentagon abortion policies. Senate Democrats and the White House have decried Tuberville’s tactics from the beginning, but now some of Tuberville’s GOP colleagues seem conflicted too.

Tuberville may achieve one of his goals: a vote forcing lawmakers to go on the record about codifying the policy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that if Tuberville “wants to have an affirmative vote, we would not object to it.” It’s unclear whether a floor vote would dislodge his hold if the Pentagon didn’t reverse the policy. 

“I’m getting to the point now where the next vote we have on these nominees is going to be after we vote on a bill that will codify what they’ve got,” Tuberville told reporters Thursday. “But we got to change the policy back first before we vote” on the nominees.

The policy at the center of the debate is the Pentagon’s October decision to give servicemembers paid leave and travel reimbursement to obtain abortions if they are stationed in a state that restricts abortion access. 

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