Hundreds of military nominees confirmed hours after Tuberville ended monthslong blockade

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(WASHINGTON) — Hundreds of military nominees were confirmed unanimously on the Senate floor Tuesday just hours after Alabama’s Tommy Tuberville announced he was ending his hold on most promotions.

It took just a matter of minutes to push more than 400 nominees through — a long-awaited breakthrough after Tuberville’s 10-month blockade over the Pentagon’s abortion policies.

Jack Reed, D-R.I., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on social media that the official number of confirmations was 425.

Tuberville, a Republican, earlier Tuesday told reporters he was lifting his hold on all positions except for four-star generals, clearing the way for many of stalled military appointments to be confirmed en bloc.

“I’m releasing everybody — I’ve still got a hold on, I think, 11 four-star generals. Everybody else is completely released from me,” Tuberville said. “Other than that, it’s over.”

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the confirmation of nominees “good news.”

“Unfortunately, resolving this impasse took too long, risking our national security and throwing the lives of so many military families into discombobulation. I am glad this pointless and gravely damaging ordeal has finally, finally ended,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Tuberville had been single-handedly holding up military nominees in protest of a Department of Defense policy that compensates service members for out-of-state travel to obtain abortions.

Senior military officials, the White House and some Republicans have slammed Tuberville over his obstruction, stating it was undermining the country’s military readiness.

While his blockade yielded no change at the Pentagon, Tuberville said Tuesday he has no regrets about the fight that he said he put up on behalf of the American taxpayer.

“We fought hard. We did the right thing for the unborn and for our military, fighting back against executive overreach and an abortion policy that’s not legal,” he argued. “I think we opened their eyes a little bit. We didn’t get the win that we wanted, we still got a bad policy, but we’re proud to stand up for the taxpayers of this country.”

The Pentagon welcomed Tuberville’s decision, with spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder telling reporters that “certainly we’re encouraged by the news.”

“We’ll continue to stay engaged with Sen. Tuberville in the Senate directly to urge that all the holds on all our general flag officer nominations be lifted, to include those nominated for four-star,” Ryder said.

Asked what Tuberville had accomplished with his hold, Ryder referred questions back to the senator’s office.

Tuberville’s decision to back off his hold came as the Senate was preparing to vote on a resolution that would have allowed the chamber to side-step his blockade. While many Republicans were reluctant to vote to approve such a modification to the Senate rules, mounting frustration over the impasse meant Tuberville may well have been rolled by his own colleagues.

Tuberville had objected to the way issues regarding the Pentagon abortion policy were handled regarding the pending National Defense Authorization Act.

The House and Senate versions of the massive policy bill are currently being reconciled behind the scenes, and Tuberville took issue with what he said was a move to prevent the full conference of lawmakers from debating the Pentagon policy rule. He blamed Schumer for that.

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