Advertisement

James Mattis clears hurdles to serve as Trump’s secretary of defense

Click to play video 'James Mattis says U.S. faces biggest threat level since WWII' James Mattis says U.S. faces biggest threat level since WWII
WATCH ABOVE: James Mattis says U.S. faces biggest threat level since WWII

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly backed a waiver on Thursday that will allow James Mattis to serve as President-elect Donald Trump‘s secretary of defense, despite having retired as a Marine General in 2013.

READ MORE: Washington, Wall Street veterans get top jobs in Donald Trump Cabinet

The Senate voted 81 to 17 for a one-time waiver of a provision of a law on civilian control of the U.S. military requiring a seven-year wait before active-duty military can lead the Department of Defense.

WATCH: James Mattis says he will not reverse military policy on women, LGBT soldiers 

Click to play video 'James Mattis says he will not reverse military policy on women, LGBT soldiers' James Mattis says he will not reverse military policy on women, LGBT soldiers
James Mattis says he will not reverse military policy on women, LGBT soldiers

The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee then narrowly backed the waiver, voting 34 to 28, along party lines.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: Trump announces his pick for Defense Secretary

Click to play video 'Donald Trump nominates James Mattis as Defense Secretary' Donald Trump nominates James Mattis as Defense Secretary
Donald Trump nominates James Mattis as Defense Secretary

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio