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Senate approves final 11 military nominees after Tuberville backs down from hold

By Morgan Rimmer and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, CNN

(CNN) — Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama on Tuesday backed down for a second time this month, allowing the Senate to unanimously confirm 11 remaining top military nominees by voice vote after months of delaying hundreds of confirmations.

The move comes weeks after the former football coach released the majority of his holds, which began earlier this year over his opposition to the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing service members who have to travel to receive reproductive health care.

The 11 nominees confirmed Tuesday are the last of the nominees who had been affected by his hold. The monthslong standoff delayed the confirmations of more than 450 top military nominees.

“These are the 11 remaining generals who have just been approved,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday after the vote. “That’s good news.”

Tuberville, who faced bipartisan pressure to cease his blanket hold, told CNN on December 5 that he had no choice but to give in after his holds caused a growing backlash within his own party. Still, he argued that his stand “helped” national security even as the Pentagon sounded alarms that his blockade was causing serious damage to the military.

“Yeah, I could care less what they say,” Tuberville said at the time, in reference to the Pentagon, attacking administration officials for not negotiating a compromise with him.

Tuberville had told reporters earlier Tuesday that he was willing to work with leadership to expedite the confirmations, after Schumer said on the Senate floor that the chamber would confirm the last of the top military nominees before they leave for the holidays.

CNN’s Lauren Fox, Manu Raju, Haley Britzky, and Sam Fossum contributed to this report.

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