Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Senators May Soon Change Senate Procedures to Approve Military Promotions

Increasingly, many Republican senators have had it with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) blocking over 400 military promotions. All it takes is for nine of them to join with the 51 Democrats to invoke cloture and pass a change to Senate rules that would allow all military promotions to be passed on a single vote. That would take away the ability of a single senator to force each one to be debated and voted on separately. The senators have told Tuberville that if he doesn't drop his blockage by Christmas, they are going to vote for cloture and the Democrats' resolution to allow all military promotions to be handled in a single batch.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), himself a former Air Force Colonel who served in the Judge Advocate General Corps, is especially annoyed with military promotions being held up. On the floor of the Senate, he told Tuberville: "I promise you this. This will be the last holiday this happens. If it takes me to vote to break loose these folks, I will." Being a former high-ranking officer himself, Graham knows how dispiriting it is for military officers to be denied promotions they have earned because some senator wants to grandstand.

Republican senators Dan Sullivan (AK), Joni Ernst (IA), and Todd Young (IN) are in agreement with Graham and are actively working on recruiting more senators.

John Ullyot, a former National Security Council spokesman during the Trump administration, has told the senators that there is enormous pressure from their constituents to approve military promotions. Holding military officers hostage because one former football coach has a bee in his bonnet is not popular with voters.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed admiration for the work that Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has put into writing and lobbying for the resolution, but said he is going to let Tuberville continue blocking the promotions just a little bit longer.

In short, Tuberville can drag this out a little longer. But if he doesn't give up within the next month, the rules are likely to be changed so that hundreds of promotions can be approved in a single vote of the Senate. (V)

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