WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed the remaining service members whose promotions had been held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville as part of his protest against the Defense Department’s abortion policy.
“These 11 flag officers have now been approved, joining the rest of their colleagues who we approved a few weeks ago. That’s good news,” said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the Senate floor.
Tuberville, R-Ala., did not get any concessions for lifting the holds, and the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy remains in place.
Tuberville’s office declined to comment Tuesday night.
The Senate approved the military promotions by voice vote. A roll call vote was not taken because no one objected to approving the nominations.
Tuberville dropped his 10-month hold on more than 400 military nominees at the three-star rank and below earlier this month. The Senate confirmed 425 military nominees after the hold was lifted.
The Alabama senator’s efforts were aimed at changing a Pentagon policy that allows service members to get reimbursed for the cost of traveling to get an abortion. Instead, Tuberville drew bipartisan condemnation for his holds.
President Joe Biden blasted Tuberville earlier this month, saying the senator “needlessly hurt” service members and families.
“In the end, this was all pointless,” Biden said in a Dec. 5 statement. “Senator Tuberville, and the Republicans who stood with him, needlessly hurt hundreds of servicemembers and military families and threatened our national security — all to push a partisan agenda. I hope no one forgets what he did.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said earlier this year that he did not support “putting a hold on military nominations,” while the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, referred to Tuberville’s holds in September as a “national security problem.”