House Passes Bill Granting Mattis Waiver

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The House passed a measure granting retired Marine Gen. James Mattis the eligibility to serve as the secretary of the Department of Defense Friday in a 268-151 vote. 

The bill provides an exception to the law barring former service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years for serving in the role.

Without the waiver, Mattis would have been ineligible, having retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

The Senate passed similar legislation early Thursday morning in a 81-17, with a sizable number of Democrats supporting the bill.

While he has largely received bipartisan praise, a number of House Democrats said they would not vote for the measure since they were unable to vet him in the lower chamber.

“My concerns are not with the exceptional qualifications and decades of honorable service of Gen. Mattis,” Rep. Susan Davis of California said on the House floor ahead of the vote. “But I am opposed to a process that has made this House irrelevant.”

The measure is separate from the confirmation vote in the upper chamber, which is expected to

Mattis will likely be confirmed on Inauguration Day, assuring he will be in his role for the start of the new administration.

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