“We’re in a tough time right now because our military’s struggling to actually put a group together, whether it’s Army, Navy, Air Force” he said.
Mr Tuberville, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has placed a blanket hold on more than 300 military promotions in protest of a policy by the Pentagon that reimburses US servicemembers if they travel to seek an abortion in a state where it is more accessible.
The hold has led to a backlog of more than 300 promotions. Earlier this week, Gen Eric Smith, the commandant for the US Marine Corps, was hospitalised, which meant that a three-star officer was now in charge of the branch, Military.com reported.
Mr Tuberville has in turn hoped to force a vote on Lt Gen Christopher Mahoney, whom President Joe Biden nominated to be assistant commandant to Gen Smith. The blanket hold Mr Tuberville put in place meant that Gen Smith essentially had to fulfill duties of both positions.
In September, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer held a vote and allowed for the confirmation of three generals to be members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Gen Smith, Gen CQ Brown to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Randy Smith to be Army Chief of Staff.
During the confirmation hearing for Admiral Lisa Franchetti, Mr Biden’s nominee to be the top officer for the US Navy, she articulated the impact of Mr Tuberville’s hold.
“I think just at the three-star level it would take about three to four months to move all of the people around but it will take years to recover from their promotion, if confirmed, from the promotion delays for years to come,” Adm Franchetti said at the time.
Mr Tuberville has shown little indication of backing down.
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