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Tuberville prepares off-ramp on military holds

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville told his Republican colleagues Tuesday that he is ready to end his ten-month-long hold on military promotions.

That’s according to Andrew Desiderio of Punchbowl News, who quoted sources inside the Senate Republican Caucus meeting.

“Listen, everyone. I got y’all into this mess. I’m gonna get you out,” he told colleagues, according to Punchbowl.

The development comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer threatens to bring to the floor a Senate rule change that would severely limit the minority’s influence, but allow the military promotions to be moved right away.

That would put many Republicans in a tough spot between ensuring military readiness and supporting Tuberville’s pro-life protest over Pentagon abortion travel policy.

Traditionally, military confirmations have been mostly uncontroversial votes in the U.S. Senate. In February, however, Tuberville began objecting to every nomination brought to the Senate floor – which are usually done in batches – as a means to put pressure on the Pentagon to reverse its new policy of covering travel expenses for service members traveling out of state for abortions.

Earlier this month, Tuberville told ADN’s Alexander Willis that he was open to ending his hold if a vote on the Pentagon’s policy could be voted on as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. However, Punchbowl reports that possibility has since become untenable as bi-cameral negotiations have continued on a conference committee report.

Alabama’s senior senator is scheduled to have a press call Wednesday morning.

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