The Corner

House Republicans Attempt to Expedite Mattis’s Secretary of Defense Confirmation

On Tuesday, Kentucky representative Hal Rogers introduced a short-term spending bill to fund the government through April 28. And, despite warnings from minority leader Pelosi, House Republicans inserted a clause that expedites the confirmation process of former general James Mattis, whom President-elect Donald Trump has nominated to be his Secretary of Defense.

Mattis must receive a congressional waiver before he can head to the Pentagon. A 1947 statute, designed to maintain civilian control of the military, prohibits defense secretaries from serving within seven years of their nomination (a term that was originally ten years before the statute was modified in 2008). Mattis retired from the military in 2013.

According to Politico,

The procedure for Mattis’ waiver in the spending bill would limit debate in the Senate over the matter to 10 hours and require 60 votes for passage. The waiver legislation itself can be introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) within the first 30 days of the new Congress. That bill would be referred to McCain’s committee, and if it was not acted on within five days would go directly to the Senate floor.

In order to avoid a government shutdown, Congress must pass the spending bill by December 9.

Austin YackAustin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.