Republicans in both houses of Congress did not stand in the way of a waiver needed to confirm President Joe Biden’s pick for Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, who had not been out of the military for the required seven years in order to serve in the role.
13 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted against the waiver in the Senate, with some of them saying they had decided on principle not to grant any more waivers after doing so for former President Donald Trump’s Defense pick Gen. James Mattis in 2017.
63 Republicans in the House voted against the waiver, but Democrat votes alone would have been enough to grant it if they stayed unified.
The House Republican Caucus also opposed Austin based on his record of service, but it has little control over his confirmation vote, which takes place in the Senate.
The seven-year rule was put in place to ensure that the Defense Secretary was a civilian position and was not too closely tied to military control.
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