Senate may change rule to break Tuberville hold on military promotions

Senate Rules Committee officials this week will try to break through Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s months-long blockade of military nominees, though it’s unclear if the plan can gain enough Republican support to work.

The committee on Tuesday will vote on a plan to allow consideration of about 350 pending nominations in a single parliamentary move, a dramatic change in precedent for the chamber. The proposal is expected to easily pass out of the committee but will face more problems in the full Senate, where Republican cooperation will be needed for final approval.

Tuberville, an Alabama Republican, has held up fast-track consideration of routine senior military promotions and confirmations since the spring over his objections to the Defense Department’s abortion access policy. In recent days, several GOP colleagues have pressured him to relent on the holds, citing cascading leadership difficulties caused by the move.

But Tuberville thus far has rebuffed those requests. Tuesday’s rules committee meeting is designed to force a resolution on the issue, with Democratic leaders (and a number of top Pentagon officials) insisting the standoff has already lasted too long.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Afghanistan policy
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko will testify on the effects of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn

Coast Guard operations

Service officials will testify on current operations.

House Oversight and Accountability — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn

General Services Administration

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan is expected to testify on issues affecting the agency.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210

Afghanistan withdrawal

Outside advocates will testify on the impact of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — 360 Cannon

Suicide prevention

VA officials will testify on new therapies to help prevent veteran suicide.

Senate Rules — 3 p.m. — 301 Russell

Military nomination rules

Senators will debate changes to military confirmation policies.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

House Homeland Security — 9 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Worldwide threats
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other senior officials will testify on threats facing the United States.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn

U.S. strategic posture

Members of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the U.S. will testify on their findings.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210


Regional experts will testify on the conflict between Azerbaijan leadership and officials from Nagorno-Karabakh region.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 12 p.m. — 360 Cannon

Electronic health records

VA officials will provide an update on the electronic health records modernization program.

Senate Small Business — 2:30 p.m. — 428-A Russell

Veteran entrepreneurship

Outside experts will testify on opportunities for veteran entrepreneurs.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3:30 p.m. — 418 Russell

VA emergency preparedness

VA officials will testify on department response responsibilities in national emergencies.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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