Over the past month, Senate Democrats have been trying to get Republican Senators to side with them and end Senator Tommy Tuberville’s military holds.
They argued that Tuberville’s holds were weakening the military, especially with two wars going on.
Earlier in the month, several Republican Senators confronted Tuberville on the Senate floor, but they failed to get him to change his mind.
Tuberville: I object
Sullivan: Well that was another downgrade of readiness for America right there
— The Intellectualist (@highbrow_nobrow) November 2, 2023
Right now on the Senate floor: Sen. Lindsey Graham, Todd Young, Dan Sullivan, Joni Ernst, and Mitt Romney are trying to confirm by unanimous consent the military promotions that @TTuberville is blocking until the Pentagon stops funding the killing of unborn babies.
Coach is… pic.twitter.com/TLc0bUhjpB
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 1, 2023
Even though some Senate Republicans are against the hold, they stood with Tuberville when the Democrats tried to break the hold on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, not a single Republican sided with Democrats as the Senate Rules Committee advanced a resolution that would allow mass confirmations of those nominees for the rest of the Congress, an effort that would effectively end Tuberville’s holds. Instead, Republicans sought more time to end the quarrel internally — after eight months of failing to do so.
Republicans had the opportunity to stick it to Tuberville in committee and didn’t — though they’re likely to soon have another chance on the floor, where it really counts.
The Senate GOP is really hoping it doesn’t come to that.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) added that “nobody wants to go down that path.” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said “everybody’s torn on the thing” and that she’d rather see the GOP “keep proceeding to try to find a solution.” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) echoed that he’d “like a better option” than to support the temporary rules change.
new: Senate Minority Whip John Thune says he does not expect any Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee to support the Reed-Sinema resolution that would end-around Tuberville holds
Dems can pass through committee with party line vote, but would need nine on the Senate floor
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 14, 2023
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been among the most outspoken GOP opponents of Tuberville’s tactics. But he opposed the measure in committee “at this particular moment,” though he thanked those who worked on it and reiterated the other ways for Republicans to register their disapproval of Pentagon policy.
— WBTW News13 (@WBTWNews13) November 15, 2023
That Tuberville’s roadblock lasted so long speaks to both the outsize power that individual senators wield and the clubby and deferential culture of the Senate. Tuberville has won over fellow Republicans with his down-home charm, and they’ve responded by giving him tremendous latitude.
“He’s very well-liked. If he was an asshole, no one would want to help him,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “Accommodating kind of a guy. And that’s why all of us are trying to find a way that’s good for him and us.”
“His own colleagues have given him a lot of leeway,” added Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who called Tuberville a friend. “But he knows it’s running thin.”