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Thu Jan 12, 2017, 06:42 PM

Senate Approves Waiver to Allow James Mattis as Pentagon Chief

Source: US News & World Report

Senate Approves Waiver to Allow James Mattis as Pentagon Chief

Mattis retired from the military just four years ago and
needs an exemption from a law that ensures civilian control
of the armed forces.


By Gabrielle Levy | Political Reporter Jan. 12, 2017, at 4:25 p.m.

The Senate has approved a waiver that would allow retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of defense, granting a rare exception to a law meant that requires military veterans to have been out of uniform for at least seven years before taking the top job at the Pentagon.

On Thursday afternoon, lawmakers voted 81 to 17, overwhelmingly approving the waiver on the same day Mattis testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mattis sailed through his confirmation hearing Thursday morning, even as he broke with President-elect Donald Trump on Russia and Iran. Challenges posed by the relationships with both nations promise to pose consume much of Mattis' time, if he is confirmed.

Following questioning, the committee took up, and easily approved, the waiver on a 24-3 vote. Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts voted against it.

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Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-01-12/senate-approves-waiver-to-allow-james-mattis-as-pentagon-chief

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