Senate OKs Waiver for James Mattis’ Appointment to DoD Leadership Post

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The Senate approved a congressional waiver to help ease the path for retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis’ confirmation as defense secretary under President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration through an 81-17 vote Thursday, Politico reported Thursday.

Jeremy Herb and Connor O’Brien write the waiver legislation would exempt Mattis from a law that requires a seven-year wait for former military officials after retirement from active duty in order to serve as the Defense Department‘s civilian leader.

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday also cleared the exemption by a 34-28 vote while the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 24-3 in favor of the waiver after Trump’s defense secretary nominee sailed through an SASC nomination hearing, according to Herb and O’Brien.

The report said House lawmakers aim to take up the legislation by Friday.

Mattis told SASC members during his testimony before the committee Thursday that, if confirmed, he would support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the U.S.’ partnership with NATO and restrictions on nuclear weapon use, Leigh Giangreco reported for Flightglobal.

He also voiced his support for a nuclear triad modernization plan that includes development of bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarines, according to the report.

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