Senate confirms CQ Brown as joint chiefs after months of Tuberville standoff

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Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Tommy Tuberville



CNN

The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm the nomination General CQ Brown Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is slated to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following a month-long round of more than 300 military promotions.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moved earlier in the day to receive three major military promotions — Chief of Joint Staff, the commandant of the Marine Corps and the commander of the Army — voted separately rather than as part of a constituency for Tuberville. Following Brown’s confirmation, the Senate will vote on Thursday to confirm a new Army chief and a new Marine Corps commandant.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin celebrated Brown’s confirmation, saying in a statement Wednesday evening that Brown would be “the greatest leader of our joint forces.” But Austin eased Tuberville’s blockade on other military appointments.

“Senator Tuberville’s continued detention of hundreds of our nation’s military leaders endangers our national security and military readiness,” Austin said. “The brave men and women of the U.S. military deserve to be led by highly qualified generals and flag officers at this critical moment in our national security.”

Earlier Wednesday, Schumer attacked the Alabama Republican’s tactics in a fiery speech on the Senate floor, as did Tuberville. He threatened to file a petition himself On the Senate floor, one traditionally given only to the Senate Majority Leader.

Finally votes to confirm a few recommendations this week It follows months of stubbornness by the Alabama Senater, Members of his own party have been unable to move Tuberville from his position because of his opposition to a Defense Department policy that would reimburse travel expenses for service members who must cross state lines to obtain abortions.

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In Wednesday’s remarks, Schumer said the Senate would “face its veto head-on,” but was forced to reverse course in demanding that the promotions be put to a vote. Tuberville’s seizures lasted several monthsand major military positions was empty.

Tuberville refused to relinquish his grip, insisting instead that Schumer set individual votes for each candidate. As of Wednesday, Schumer objected, saying all nominees should have been considered and confirmed in a “bipartisan way.”

“This is not the path that the majority of senators on both sides of the aisle want to go down, but Sen. Tuberville is forcing us to confront his veto head-on,” Schumer said.

Schumer warned that bowing to Tuberville’s demands for votes could set a precedent for senators to use widely supported candidates as aliens to their core issues.

“The Senate operates by unanimous consent, and we depend on each other to make sure this agency runs smoothly,” Schumer said. “That’s how we make things happen here. If everybody opposes everything to get their pet priorities, it’s going to paralyze this body.

When Senate Democrats asked if Schumer was wrong not to insist that promotions be voted on in a committee, Virginia Sen. Tim Cain said, “There are still many more steps, but we are finally (breaking through).” “This unfair siege” and even though he believes more individual votes are to come, he believes the tides will turn against the catch.

“We’re going to keep moving and keep the pressure on. The VFW has come out and told the GOP to knock it down. VoteVets has come out and told it to knock it down. There’s more to come, and we’re going to do all of them,” he said.

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But Sen. Mississippi of Mississippi, a Republican member of the Armed Services Committee. Roger Wicker said he thought voting for the nominees, if not a full block, was the right thing to do.

“Of course,” he said. “It’s a positive step.”

But, Tuberville warned, his siege continues.

“So, to be clear, my hold is still in place. The hold remains as long as the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy remains in place. If the Pentagon lifts the policy, I will lift my hold. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

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