The Senate on Wednesday began a series of votes that could end in the confirmations of Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Eric Smith to be commandant of the Marines, and Gen. Randy George to be chief of staff of the Army.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted to advance Brown in a procedural vote in the afternoon and is scheduled to confirm him later in the evening. Confirmation of George and Smith is expected Thursday.
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The votes circumvent a blockade Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has maintained for more than six months on all general and admiral promotions because of his opposition to the Pentagon's policy of providing travel expenses and leave for troops seeking abortions. Still, Wednesday's action does not end the larger fight over more than 300 military promotions that for now remain in limbo.
Democrats had insisted it would set a bad precedent to hold roll call votes on a few top-ranking officers to get around Tuberville's blockade. Apolitical military nominations are typically confirmed in batches by voice votes. But after Tuberville announced he was planning to use a rare procedural move to…