House vote clears way for Mattis confirmation
WASHINGTON – The House voted Friday to give Gen. James Mattis a legal waiver for his recent military service, all but clearing the way for the retired Marine to be confirmed as defense secretary.
The special one-time exemption for Mattis, who has not been retired for seven years as required by law, had already passed overwhelmingly in the Senate but was opposed by House Democrats, who were angered when President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team canceled the general’s scheduled testimony.
However, opponents were unable to stop the waiver, which cleared the chamber by a 268-151 vote.
The White House said Friday that President Barack Obama would sign the waiver into law, according to media reports.
With waiver in hand, the 66-year-old Mattis could be confirmed by the Senate when Trump is sworn into office Jan. 20, a move that will likely cause cheers from the military community with which the general remains deeply popular.
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