Voting on party lines, the Senate Rules Committee last Tuesday advanced a resolution that would permit Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to confirm over 350 military promotions in one package as a way to bypass Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville’s monthslong blockade, The Hill reported.
Schumer last Monday announced that once the Rules Committee approved the measure, he would bring it to the full Senate for a vote “as soon as possible.”
The resolution would not include military nominees for the Joint Chiefs or commanders leading combatant commands.
With the 9-7 vote, Schumer can introduce the legislation to the full Senate, however, it would still require 60 votes to pass.
Before last Tuesday’s vote, Schumer blasted Senator Tuberville, accusing him of defying “long-standing Senate custom” by preventing “the swift bipartisan confirmation” of military generals and “flag officers.”
Schumer claimed that Tuberville’s blockade, prompted earlier this year by the Pentagon’s abortion policy, has done “much harm and requires a response.”
The majority leader said if Tuberville’s Republican colleagues were unable to convince him to stop, he would bring the resolution to the floor for a vote.
While many Republican senators have urged Tuberville to end his blockade, they were not prepared to vote for Schumer’s resolution, arguing that the resolution would change the Senate’s procedure for the remainder of the 118th Congress.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who like Schumer sits on the Rules Committee, said while he also objects to the Pentagon policy to pay the expenses of service members who travel out of state for an abortion, he opposes Tuberville’s blockade, which he said has “created a nearly unprecedented situation” that the Senate must address.
However, McConnell voted against the resolution along with his fellow Republicans on the Rules Committee, explaining that the “productive discussions” to reach a deal with Tuberville are “ongoing” and he believes the Senate should “allow them to continue.”