Senate confirms top Navy pick as Tuberville feud intensifies

Franchetti’s approval, along with Gen. David Allvin’s expected confirmation as Air Force chief of staff, would give the Joint Chiefs a full slate of Senate-confirmed officers for the first time since July. Franchetti and Allvin are their respective services’ No. 2 officers and have been filling the top jobs on an acting basis.

The Joint Chiefs have been hobbled by Tuberville‘s blanket hold on senior promotions, which the Alabama Republican has imposed in protest of the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy.

Schumer lined up votes on the two Joint Chiefs picks, along with Marine Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to be assistant commandant, after Tuberville and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) forced the majority leader’s hand by circulating cloture petitions themselves on the nominees.

But the nine-month fight over military nominees has reached a fever pitch, and even Tuberville’s fellow Republicans are signaling they’re growing impatient with his tactics.

Sullivan led a group of five Republicans on the Senate floor late Wednesday evening and forced Tuberville to block votes on 61 nominees. The action was a significant turn, as Tuberville was confronted by members of his own party who argued his hold is damaging the military at a precarious time.

Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.), meanwhile, is circulating a resolution to permit large batches of promotions to be confirmed in a single vote. Democrats hope the growing frustration with Tuberville will create bipartisan momentum for passing the measure.

Franchetti has performed the top Navy job temporarily after the previous Navy chief, Adm. Mike Gilday, retired in August before a successor was confirmed.

Franchetti previously commanded the Navy’s 6th Fleet, which covers Europe and Africa and was director for strategy, plans and policy on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

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