On Thursday, General James Mattis testified at the confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee in order to obtain a waiver that would allow him to serve as Secretary of Defense. Gen. Mattis, who has been retired from the military since 2013, would need the waiver approved by Congress to bypass federal law which states that the head of the Pentagon needs to be a civilian or retired from the military for at least 7 years. Following the hearing in front of the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the vote for the waiver passed 24-3.
The full Senate passed the waiver Thursday afternoon, as well as the House Armed Services Committee. The full House is expected to vote Friday.
All Republican members voted in favor while three Democrat members opposed. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, all voted against the retired four-star general receiving a waiver.
His hearing in front of the House Armed Services Committee was scheduled for Thursday afternoon but was canceled by the Trump transition team on Wednesday.