Senate approves new Joint Chiefs chair as Schumer finally caves to Tuberville

 September 21, 2023

The Senate voted to confirm a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Wednesday, momentarily ending a blockade over military promotions led by Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).

Air Force General C.Q. Brown will take over the post once Mark Milley retires on September 30.

The vote is a victory for Tuberville, who has insisted on forcing Democrats to vote individually on hundreds of nominees in protest of Biden's unprecedented decision to let the military subsidize abortions.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) swore not to give in, but on Wednesday, he finally did.

New military chief confirmed

Tuberville said the vote proves that Schumer always had the power to end the blockade, which Democrats have blamed for months on Tuberville, accusing him of endangering national security.

"One of us was bluffing. It wasn't me. Democrats are taking the same action they could've taken months ago," Tuberville said.

While Schumer attempted to spin the vote as a win for Democrats, Tuberville warned his protest would continue until Biden ends his abortion policy.

"As long as the Pentagon keeps the unlawful elective abortion policy in place, my holds will remain," he vowed.

After the fall of Roe v. Wade, Biden enacted an unprecedented policy allowing the Pentagon to reimburse travel expenses for women to get abortions, despite a clear federal ban on using tax money for abortions.

Republicans have also expressed broader concerns with the politicization of Biden's "woke" military, which has placed a greater emphasis on race and sex than ever before. (General Milley infamously spluttered about "white rage" during a congressional hearing.) But none have gone so far as Tuberville to make their point.

Schumer's bluff

Just before Schumer called the vote, Tuberville had been planning to force a vote himself - in an apparent effort to highlight Schumer's power to end the block - but Schumer got in front of it.

"I wish we were not in this position. I wish my Republican colleagues who do care deeply about keeping our military strong were able to prevail on Sen. Tuberville to completely change his tactics," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

"This is not a sustainable path. Sen. Tuberville's continued abuse of his privilege will continue to disrupt the lives of hundreds of our nation's finest and most dedicated military officers and their families," he continued.

"And while Democrats didn't choose this fight, we are ready to put an end to this sooner rather than later," he concluded.

Schumer held two more successful votes Thursday to confirm Gen. Randy George as chief of staff of the Army and Gen. Eric Smith as commandant of the Marine Corps.

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