Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has revealed the Rules Committee approved a resolution allowing the Senate to confirm more than 350 nonpolitical military promotions at once.
The Senate can’t use its unanimous consent rules to confirm multiple military promotions and nominations in a single vote until Mr. Tuberville’s “hold” is lifted or bypassed. The body can still confirm individual military nominees through routine procedures, although this opens up the floor for debate on the individual nominees, making the process take far longer than average.
“In the coming weeks, I will bring a resolution to the floor approved by the Rules Committee allowing the Senate to quickly confirm the hundreds of military leaders that Senator Tuberville has obstructed,” Mr. Schumer said.
Tuberville Not Backing DownSince February, Mr. Tuberville has objected to the unanimous consent requests for all military and civilian promotion nominees. The move has been part of an ongoing protest against the Department of Defense (DOD) and its policy of covering travel costs for service members to obtain an abortion out of state.
He has also raised concerns that the U.S. government is paying for travel and extra time off for service members and their dependents to get abortions, an action that Congress did not vote on.
“We also never appropriated the money for this. There is no law that allows them to do this. In fact, there is a law that says they can’t do this,” Mr. Tuberville has said about the matter in the past.
He has remained firm that he will keep blocking unanimous consent confirmation votes until either the DOD withdraws the abortion-related travel policy or Congress passes legislation expressly permitting federal funds to go toward abortion-related travel.
Schumer Might Not Have Enough SupportIt remains to be seen whether Mr. Schumer will get the nine Republican votes needed for the resolution to pass the Senate. In his statement, he called upon Republicans who “care about military preparedness” to support the resolution “or at least get Senator Tuberville to back down.”
According to Mr. Schumer, “We’ve gone too far already,” and public officials in the Senate have “an obligation to act” because the current situation is “an anomaly in the history of the Senate.”
“If every Senator did what Senator Tuberville has done, and held up military confirmations because of this or that partisan issue, no matter how deeply felt, it would grind the Senate to a halt,” Mr. Schumer said.
“It would be a catastrophe for our military,” he added.
The late former Gov. Strom Thurmond (D-S.C.) still has the record for the longest filibuster ever at 24 hours and 18 minutes, when he was trying to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Mr. Schumer also claims that at this point, members on both “sides of the aisle are reaching a boiling point” over Mr. Tuberville’s actions.
Sen. Ted Budd, (R-N.C.) led the effort to create the letter. Among the signatories are senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
If passed, the standing order resolution would change Senate procedure for confirming nonpolitical military promotions for the rest of the 118th Congress. The resolution would not apply to high-level leaders such as Joint Chiefs of Staff members.