First Female Member of Joint Chiefs of Staff Confirmed

( – The Biden administration now has another “first” to tout on the campaign trail after Adm. Lisa Franchetti became the first female to be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Franchetti on November 2 with a vote of 95-1. Her confirmation, along with two other high-ranking military officials, was made possible by a growing number of Republicans who are frustrated at Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville for holding up hundreds of military promotions. Tuberville has held his ground for months against confirming any new military promotions after the Pentagon began paying for servicemembers’ travel to obtain abortions.

During a four-hour debate on the Senate floor, a seemingly endless number of nominations was brought forward only to be blocked by Tuberville. A group of Republican Senators, including Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, Indiana Senator Todd Young, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, and others blasted Tuberville for continuing his blockade during a time of global turmoil. Franchetti and the two other military officials were eventually confirmed, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently concocting a plan to circumvent Tuberville’s blockade.

Franchetti is now the chief naval officer in the United States military, which is another first for a female servicemember. However, high-level positions still remain vacant, including a commander for the Navy’s 5th Fleet and a deputy commander for the U.S. Central Command. The Senate also blew through Tuberville’s blockade back in September when it confirmed General Charles Q. Brown Jr. to replace retiring Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley. Schumer said at the time that Tuberville would not stop the confirmations from happening and that “the abortion policy that Senator Tuberville abhors will remain in place.”

Arizona Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed have authored a resolution to allow the Senate to pass multiple promotions together until the end of the current session.

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