The US Senate confirmed this Wednesday Air Force General Charles Q. Brown Jr. as the next chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, despite the block that Tommy Tuberville, a Republican senator from the state of Alabama, has maintained at the top for months.
The move forward this Wednesday in the US Senate, which resulted in 83 yes and 11 no votes, resolves the dispute over one of the most important promotions, but still leaves 316 generals in limbo and officers whose promotion remains firmly entrenched becomes.
In recent months, Tuberville has opposed all of these military promotions at various levels in an attempt to force the Pentagon to abandon its policy of granting leave and covering the costs of women in the armed forces undergoing tests, abortions and other treatments in the area of reproductive freedom travel, to turn back.
Congressman Tuberville, a former football coach, is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The blockage means nominations must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis rather than en bloc by consensus as usual, delaying the entire process.
And the appointments must be approved by the Senate, where as of last January, Democrats have 48 seats, Republicans have 49, and there are three other independents with progressive leanings.
However, the Senate is also expected to confirm General Eric Smith of the Marine Corps and General Randy George of the Army as chiefs of staff of their respective divisions this Thursday.
“These three honorable men will finally be able to assume their positions (…) And the abortion policies that Senator Tuberville abhors will remain in effect.” He will have accomplished nothing,” said Chuck Schumer, Democratic majority leader and senator from New York, on Wednesday.
Brown, who succeeds Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, will initially be part of President Biden’s key military advisory board starting later this month.
The Pentagon issued a policy in March granting time off and travel reimbursement to service members who need to leave the state for abortion or other reproductive health services, whether or not it is legal where they are stationed.