(The Center Square) — Alabama Republican U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday ended his nearly 10-month hold on most military promotions over the Department of Defense’s abortion policies.
Tuberville made his stand in response to Pentagon policy using taxpayers’ money to give service members time off and pay to travel to other states for abortions. The policy from the Biden administration was enacted after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
With Tuberville not objecting, the U.S. Senate confirmed 425 flag officers to their posts. Tuberville said to reporters after a meeting with Republican senators on Tuesday that he is “not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer.”
But the senator said that he’d continue to hold up the promotions of 11 of the highest-ranking flag officers (four-star generals and admirals) of the armed services over the Department of Defense’s abortion policies.
“The only opportunity you got to get the people on the left up here to listen to you in the minority is to put a hold on something, and that’s what we did,” Tuberville said. “We didn’t get the win that we wanted. We’ve still got a bad policy.”
Under U.S. law, generals and admirals (known in military parlance as flag officers since they raise their own flags at commands) of the five armed services require Senate confirmation.
President Joe Biden in a statement praised the move while attacking Tuberville.
“After months of undermining military readiness, Senator Tuberville has lifted his politically-motivated hold on hundreds of military nominations,” Biden said. “Over 400 highly-qualified military leaders have finally been confirmed to perform their duties.
“Our servicemembers and military families put everything on the line for our country – they deserved better.”
The conservative policy group, the Family Research Council, praised Tuberville over his decision to hold up the promotions.
U.S. Sen. Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, said in a statement that “Senator Tuberville’s reckless hold on military promotions accomplished nothing except hurting the preparedness and morale of our military. I’m glad that he’s come to his senses and hope he will finally stop disrespecting our service members and their families.”