It’s official: a waiver has passed through Congress that will grant retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis a special exception from a rule prohibiting “former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top Pentagon job” (via Fox News).
The Senate passed the bill yesterday, and today the House passed the waiver in a 268-151 vote. From here, Congress can proceed with the confirmation process.
Democrats were up in arms (aren’t they always?) over the seemingly “rushed” process for passing the bill; Republicans pushed it through anyway, largely because they’ll not be in session next week.
“The fact is unless we pass this bill today we are not able to have a secretary of defense on Jan. 20,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas.
Criticisms of “Mad Dog” Mattis have mostly been in reference to speculation that he’ll return to more traditional DoD focuses, like combat readiness and military training.
Emphasis will be taken off of progressive social changes—an area that saw much attention under the Obama Administration.
Of course, this has Democrats worried. They’re especially concerned he’ll roll back female roles within the military.