Nine months of Tommy Tuberville’s hold on military promotions finally led to an extraordinary battle between the Alabama football coach/senator and his Republican colleagues on the Senate floor last night.
For more than four hours, various Republican senators unleashed their fury on Tuberville while trying to confirm dozens of the 300 military promotions being held hostage over the Pentagon’s abortion policy.
In the end, Tuberville stayed on the floor the entire night, objecting to each promotion as his fellow Republicans extolled the credentials of 61 different nominees.
Last week attitudes began to change when Democrats began crafting a resolution that would temporarily allow many delayed promotions to be confirmed en masse.
Sen. Schumer has announced he would bring it to the floor, and the Republicans have no better solution but are unhappy about a rules change “being shoved down their throats,” as Sen. Joni Ernst articulated.
Schumer highlighted the personal medical emergency of Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith, who suffered a heart attack over the weekend. Smith had been filling both the No. 1 and No. 2 Marine Corps posts from July until he was finally confirmed as commandant in September.
When Smith was hospitalized on Sunday, a three-star general had to take over his role. The job of assistant commandant is still vacant.
“This is outrageous,” said a senior DOD official. “I cannot help but think — because at the end of the day, Eric Smith is a human — that Tuberville’s unnecessary stress that he’s put on the situation where you don’t have a backup … has added a level of complexity and danger to an already bad situation.”