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Old 2021-01-23, 17:48   #4
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

24·32·31 Posts

After an over two-month stretch with an "Acting" Secretary of Defense, President Biden's nominee Lloyd James Austin was granted a waiver from the "seven year rule" by 3/5 majorities of both Houses of Congress, and confirmed by the US Senate.

A curious circumstance about those votes:

On January 12, 2017, U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) voted Yea to waive the requirement that former military officers be retired at least 7 years to make James Mattis eligible to be Secretary of Defense. On January 20, 2017 he voted Yea to confirm James Mattis.

On January 21, 2021, he voted Nay on the waiver for Lloyd James Austin. On January 22, 2021, he voted Nay to confirm Lloyd James Austin as Secretary of Defense.

(The only other Nay in the 93-2 confirmation vote was by Josh Hawley, R-MO.)

The Salt Lake Tribune article on the confirmation of Austin says,
Conn Carroll, spokesperson for Lee, said the senator "believes civilian control of the military is best served by the existing rule requiring a seven-year gap between active duty and the position of secretary of defense."

He added, "Other senators may have voted to waive that rule for Gen. Austin, but Sen. Lee believes it should be uniformly applied."
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