House Clears Way For Mattis As Pentagon Chief
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post --
The House passed a one-time measure Friday that would allow retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s Pentagon chief, despite being out of uniform for just under four years.
The 268 to 151 vote in favor was one of the final legislative hurdles for the 66-year-old Mattis, who emerged from his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Armed Service Committee on Thursday with bipartisan support and little fanfare despite diverging with Trump on key issues, particularly relations with Russia.
The entire Senate voted Thursday following the confirmation hearing 81 to 17 to waive the long-standing measure that require incoming defense secretaries to be out of uniform for at least seven years. The House Armed Services Committee narrowly passed a similar measure 34 to 28 Thursday as well. Following Friday’s vote Mattis will still need to be confirmed by the Senate.