A marine general collapsed after complaining of unsustainable work, as Tommy Tuberville blocks new military appointments

Marine Gen. Eric Smith at the Senate Armed Services hearing on his nomination to lead the U.S. Marine Corps
Marine Gen. Eric Smith testifying during the Senate Armed Services hearing on his nomination to lead the US Marine Corps, June 13, 2023, on Capitol Hill.AP
  • A top marine general collapsed on Sunday after complaining of unsustainable work.

  • Eric Smith is one of just three generals confirmed for new positions since mid-February.

  • Senator Tommy Tuberville has blocked votes on other appointments over the Pentagon's abortion policy.

A top general collapsed on Sunday, according to reporting in The New York Times.

Eric Smith, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, or USMC, was out running in Washington, DC, when he had a cardiac arrest and fell, unnamed defense officials told the Times.

Smith was hospitalized on Sunday evening, the USMC said in a statement, without giving further details.

Noah Gray, a senior spokesman for the DC fire department, told the Times that "witnesses said that they saw an adult male running, then walk down the street and stumble, falling face-first on the sidewalk."

Gray didn't name the individual but said that rescue workers provided CPR before taking the man to a nearby hospital.

Since his appointment to his role on September 21, Smith has been the only senior military nominee approved by the Senate.

He is one of just three generals who have been confirmed for new positions since mid-February, according to the Times.

This comes after Tommy Tuberville began his monthslong blockade on military appointments, per The Washington Post.

The Republican senator for Alabama has been blocking more than 360 military promotions since February in protest over the Pentagon's abortion policy, according to The Hill.

The policy, enacted after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year, grants three weeks of administrative leave for service members and dependents who need to travel out of state in order to have an abortion, per CNN.

Because of Tuberville's blockade, three of the eight Joint Staff positions are now staffed by interim officers for the first time in US history, per Politico.

Days before his confirmation vote in September, Smith detailed his daily work routine, which he said frequently starts at 5 a.m. and does not end until 11:30 p.m., per the Marine Corps Times newspaper.

"It is not a sustainable thing when the last thing you do is flip your computer off at 11:30 at night and you're getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning," Smith said, per the newspaper.

Tuberville's hold on nominations is affecting key military positions in the US command responsible for the Middle East, Politico reported.

Despite Hamas' terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, which killed more than 1,400 Israelis and injured over 5,400, Tuberville will not drop his blockade, a spokesperson told CNN.

To bypass Tuberville's obstruction, Democratic lawmakers are considering a plan that would require nine or more Republicans to cooperate with them in order to confirm a large number of military nominees at once, per The Washington Post.

Democrats could also circumvent Tuberville by setting up individual votes on military nominees — who, up until now, have always been approved in groups, the newspaper reported.

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