The newly minted President Trump — gulp — signed the waiver his Secretary of Defense nominee, General James Mattis, needed in order to be able to assume the position.
WATCH: Donald Trump signs his first official act as president, the waiver for retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as defense secretary. pic.twitter.com/MoL3m235cx
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2017
Federal law prohibits any military member from becoming the defense secretary until they’ve been a civilian for seven years. A requirement General Mattis is several years from obtaining, as he retired in 2013.
But Mattis’s waiver cleared Congress on Friday.
The House approved the waiver on Friday in a a vote of 268-151. Only 36 Democrats supported the bill. The Senate easily approved the waiver a day earlier. However, some Democrats opposed the bill fearing that it was too vague because it didn’t mention Mattis by name.
However, Mattis isn’t the first Secretary of Defense who needed a waiver. General George Marshall was granted a waiver to become Harry Truman’s Secretary of Dense in 1950, just five years after leaving his post as the Army Chief of Staff.