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The Senate has voted to approve a bill that grants back pay to senior military officers whose promotions were delayed by Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) during his prolonged hold.
Senator Tuberville ended his months-long blockade on military promotions earlier this month. His hold, which lasted nearly ten months, was in protest of a Pentagon policy implemented last year, allowing service members to be reimbursed for travel expenses related to abortion care. This action by Tuberville led to a difficult situation within the Republican party, as members grappled with the dilemma of supporting an anti-abortion stance or backing the military.
Tuberville’s decision to lift his holds followed a move by Senate Democrats, who proposed a temporary rule change to advance the over 400 affected nominees. He agreed to a suggestion by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to release holds on military officers of 3-star level and below, leaving about ten 4-star nominations still on hold.
Despite not achieving his desired outcome, Tuberville has expressed no regrets about his actions. Shortly after his announcement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) initiated the promotion process, warning against similar tactics in the future as they are unlikely to be successful.