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.
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.
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The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee then narrowly backed the waiver, voting 34 to 28, along party lines.
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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio