WASHINGTON — Sen. Rep. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., announced Tuesday that he is relinquishing his months-long hold on hundreds of military appointments.
Tuberville told reporters that he has lifted his hold on 400 promotions of three stars and below for all Army promotions.
“I’m releasing them all. I’m still holding 11 four-star generals. Everyone else is completely released from me,” Tuberville told reporters. “But other than that, it’s over.”
Alabama Republicans have stalled military recommendations for months in protest of a Defense Department policy that allows service members to be reimbursed for travel expenses related to abortions.
Tuberville had signaled last week that some of the military promotions could be dropped “very soon.” He did not specify at the time how many promotions he would offer, but said he wanted to get as many as possible “in the next week” and would not make decisions based on “levels” of rankings.
“I know these people who, you know, need a promotion,” he said last week.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tuberville announced a press conference regarding Holtz at 1:40pm ET, then canceled it without reason.
Some of the military nominations that Tuberville has blocked for months include top officials commanding U.S. forces in the Middle East. Since Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7, the Pentagon has moved aircraft and military carriers to the region to aid and support Israel.
Tuberville drew criticism even from members of his own party. GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, for example, condemned the senator’s effort. He said in August that his blockade would harm service members and military readiness.
Top military leaders, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, have been warning for months about the consequences of his hold, including the potential loss of talent.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said last week he would bring a Democratic resolution to the floor to bypass Tuberville’s hold, but it’s unclear if he has the votes to pass it.
Disappointment with Tuberville has built up among his own party. But last week, Senate Republicans largely expressed hope that Tuberville would reach a resolution, ending his impasse, before heading into the new year.
“I had a lot of conversations over the weekend on this subject, and I think I’m optimistic,” Sen. John Thune, RS.D., told reporters Tuesday morning. “Today, we’re optimistic. ‘Going – keep your fingers crossed, we’ll see, hopefully we’ll have a breakthrough but time will tell.'”