Tuberville Blockade Over Abortion Policy Threatens Top Military Promotions

“I don’t support putting a hold on military nominations,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, told reporters recently when asked about Mr. Tuberville’s actions. That has not been enough to dissuade the Alabama senator or his staunch supporters in the G.O.P. ranks, who have stood in for him when he was not at the Capitol to press his objections to a policy that has angered the anti-abortion Republican base.

The resulting impasse is beginning to take a tangible toll on the military. On Monday, the first of the departing Joint Chiefs, Gen. David H. Berger, the Marine commandant, will retire in a “relinquishment of office” ceremony, leaving his current deputy and nominated successor, Gen. Eric Smith, to take over without Congress’s blessing.

Over August and September, the staff chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are expected to follow suit, leaving the organization with more temporary occupants than at any point in its history.

“We know that these holds are going to have a ripple effect throughout the department,” Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said last month, arguing that Mr. Tuberville was setting “a dangerous precedent” that “puts our military readiness at risk.”

Similar sentiments have been voiced by the White House, where the press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, argued last month that Mr. Tuberville’s tactics were “a threat to our national security,” and by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, who denounced on the floor last month “the damaging impact that Senator Tuberville’s holds on senior military promotions is having on our national security and military readiness.”

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