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Senate Panel Approves Mattis for Defense Secretary

General Mattis will be Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense. Congress approved his appointment by giving him a waiver so he could serve.

The Hill reports:

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved the selection of retired Gen. James Mattis to be Defense secretary, setting him up to be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated and officially nominates him.

The committee voted 26-1 to recommend Mattis to the full chamber, meaning the nomination will be sent straight to the Senate without referral to the committee, according a committee statement. The lone “no” vote came from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

Gillibrand had previously vowed to oppose Mattis over concerns that he hasn’t been retired from the military for as long as the law requires Defense secretaries to be.

Mattis retired in 2013. The law requires Defense secretaries be out of uniform for at least seven years. But Congress passed a waiver last week that allows Mattis to bypass that law.

When the committee voted on the waiver last week, Gillibrand was joined in her opposition to the waiver by Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).

According to the committee release, there’s precedent for the committee voting on a nominee before the inauguration — the nomination of Donald Rumsfeld to be President George W. Bush’s secretary of Defense was sent to the Senate on Jan. 19, 2001.

Photo credit: CNN/Screenshot.

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