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Senate Finally Confirms 3 Top Military Officers After Fellow Republicans Erupt in Anger over Tuberville Blockade

November 6, 2023

Rebecca Kheel

This image from Senate Television video shows Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Republican senators angrily challenged Sen. Tommy Tuberville on his blockade of almost 400 military officers, taking over the Senate floor for hours to call for individual confirmation votes after a monthslong stalemate. (Senate Television via AP)

By Rebecca Kheel, / November 2, 2023

Chiefs of the Navy and Air Force, as well as the second-in-command at the Marine Corps, were confirmed Thursday by the Senate after a wild week that saw the leader of the Marines hospitalized and Republican senators unleash fury at the member of their party responsible for blocking the promotions of nearly 380 generals and admirals.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm Adm. Lisa Franchetti as chief of naval operations, making her the first woman to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David Allvin as chief of staff of the Air Force. The chamber also unanimously approved Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to get a fourth star and be the assistant commandant of the Marines, allowing him to step in as acting commandant while Gen. Eric Smith remains hospitalized for an undisclosed medical emergency.

The confirmations came after a group of Republicans, led by Marine reservist Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, held the Senate floor for more than four hours on Wednesday night to force Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., to object one-by-one to promoting 61 military nominees.

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