Senate Makes MASSIVE Exception To Confirm Gen. Mattis To Sec. Of Defense, Not Seen Since 1950
There has been a lot of talk about the potential appointment but it looks like it's finally official. Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis has just been confirmed by the Senate as the secretary of defense. This is the first time in a long time that the military will not be under civilian control and will actually be headed by a man with extensive military experience.
Many Democrats, including outspoken New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, fought against Gen. Mattis taking the position, siting that he may not have been out of the military for long enough before becoming the secretary of defense.
It seems the Senate doesn't share these concerns and are happy to make an exception to the rule due to Gen. Mattis' exceptional track record and experience.
According to Defense News, the Senate voted 98-1 in favor of Gen. Mattis' confirmation to the position.
Mattis had previously served in the Marine Corps for 44 years and only retired in 2013. The law normally states that the secretary of defense must have been out of the military for at least 7 years, but seeing as 4-star Gen. Mattis has exuded such excellence during his service of our country, many were quick to make an exception to this rule.
In fact, shortly after the proposition for Gen. Mattis to take the secretary of defense position was made, GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, stood up for Mattis and worked to move a waiver through Congress.
The same sentiment was felt by the large majority of both the House and the Senate, with the waiver being passed 268-151 in the House and 81-17 in the Senate.
On Friday, Trump made sure to sign the legislation to finalize the deal.
It was somewhat unexpected to see Gen. Mattis heading the Department of Defense, seeing as he was not active in Trump's presidential campaign.
"I was not involved in the presidential campaign, and I was certainly not seeking or envisioning a position in any new administration," said Gen. Mattis when speaking with the Washington Post. "That said, it would be the highest honor if I am confirmed to lead those who volunteer to support and defend the constitution and to defend our people."
Mattis has been in the spotlight recently for not seeing eye to eye with Trump on policy regarding Iran, Russia, Israel and climate change, as well as disagreements over how to staff the Pentagon.
Gen. Mattis will be the first secretary of defense to have been granted an exemption to rule that requires a set time period of separating from serving in the military and accepting the position since former Army Gen. George Marshall was granted the same exemption by Congress back in 1950, after he led the American Army to victory in World War II.
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Source: Daily Caller