Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is releasing his hold on hundreds of military promotions. Tuberville has been blocking the promotions for months in protest of a Defense Department policy that reimburses servicemembers for abortion-related travel expenses if they live in a state that restricts access to abortions.
Tuberville said he would allow the Senate to confirm all promotions for military officers three-star and below. He said he still plans to block the promotions of higher-ranking officers.
"I am not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer. We just released them," Tuberville told reporters. "I'm releasing everybody. I still got a hold on, I think, 11 four-star generals. Everybody else is completely released from me."
Tuberville faced bipartisan criticism for his decision to block the routine promotions. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was working on a resolution to alter the rules to the Senate to allow the promotions to be pushed through without Tuberville's consent, though it is unclear if he had enough votes to make the change.
Tuberville was also facing pushback from Pentagon officials who warned that the holds were hampering military readiness.
A few hours later, the Senate confirmed the 425 promotions unanimously. After the vote, Schumer attacked Tuberville for delaying the promotions for ten months.
"Let this incident be a warning," Schumer said, "No one, no one, should attempt this in the Senate again. The senior senator from Alabama has nothing to show for his ten months of delay."
Schumer said he is still deciding how to handle the remaining promotions that Tuberville continues to block.