Senate Republicans can now stop Tuberville's military blockade — if they want to

  • For much of the year, Sen. Tommy Tuberville has prevented hundreds of military promotions.

  • After a Senate Rule Committee vote on Tuesday, there's an opportunity to circumvent the block.

  • For it to succeed, around 10 GOP senators need to be on board, which is no guarantee.

After GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville's spent the past year singlehandedly preventing hundreds of military officers from getting promoted in the Senate, Republicans in the chamber are now able to put it to an end, but it's unclear if they will anytime soon.

Democrats in the Senate Rules Committee unanimously voted to advance a resolution on Tuesday afternoon that would allow the Senate to confirm hundreds of stalled military promotions nominations over a disagreement over the Pentagon's abortion policies.

Following the committee action, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote where it'll need at least 60 total votes to pass.

Democratic-aligned senators are expected to vote in favor of the resolution, meaning that there will likely be around 50 guaranteed votes. Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who helped craft the resolution itself, hasn't publicly stated if she'll support it on the floor.

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been uncharacteristically outspoken against his fellow Republican senator in recent months for preventing the promotions from occurring, a handful of other GOP senators have reportedly pressed McConnell to oppose the resolution: Sens. Rick Scott, JD Vance, Josh Hawley, Roger Marshall, and Mike Lee.

The small group of senators appears to have swayed McConnell, who ultimately was one of the Republicans in the committee on Tuesday to vote against the resolution.

He explained his decision to reporters, noting he wants to give his Senate colleagues more time to find a way to stop Tuberville without altering Senate procedure.

But without the support of the head of the Senate GOP, it's increasingly unclear if there will be enough support from members to pass the resolution and put a stop to Tuberville's blockade.

At least four Republican senators, three of whom are veterans, recently slammed Tuberville on the Senate floor at the beginning of November for continuing to block nominees from being promoted, but their votes alone on this resolution won't be enough to stop him.

"I don't say that lightly, I've been trying to work with you for nine months," Sen. Lindsey Graham said to Tuberville in a floor speech. "Folks, if this keeps going, people are gonna leave."

While Tuberville has said his holds aren't affecting the US military's readiness, several of the nation's top military leaders have claimed otherwise, with one going as far as saying Tuberville is playing "Russian roulette with the very lives of our service members."

Read the original article on Business Insider