UPDATED 8:03 AM PT – Wednesday, January 20, 2021
The House is gearing up to vote on a waiver to allow Joe Biden’s defense secretary nominee to head the Pentagon.
Retired General Lloyd Austin appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a confirmation hearing Tuesday, where he noted that he understands the importance of maintaining civilian control of the military.
WATCH LIVE: #SASC considers Lloyd J. Austin’s nomination for Defense Secretary https://t.co/aACzjk1QUw
— Department of Defense ?? (@DeptofDefense) January 19, 2021
According to the National Security Act of 1947, the secretary of defense must be a civilian or have at least been retired from the military for at least seven years before being able to take control of the Pentagon. Austin only retired from service in 2016, but pledged to rely on civilian expertise if he is confirmed.
“In war and in peace I implemented the policies of civilians elected and appointed over me, leaders like Secretary Panetta,” he stated. “And I know that being a member of the president’s cabinet, a political appointee, requires a different perspective and unique duties from a career in uniform.”
The House is slated to hold a vote on the waiver on Thursday.
“He represents the best of America.”
“Our allies will take comfort in his confirmation, our adversaries will take pause.”
Republican Senator Dan Sullivan on why Lloyd Austin should be the next Secretary of Defense pic.twitter.com/EBu7VVColq
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) January 19, 2021