Politics

‘Just Feels Off’: Democrat On Armed Services Committee Questions Biden’s Pick For Defense Secretary

Photographer: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, questioned President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for Defense Secretary, sharing her concerns about selecting a recently retired general.

Slotkin sent a number of tweets Tuesday, saying although she likes retired General Lloyd Austin, she believes the position is designated for a civilian. News broke Monday night that Biden had chosen Austin to be his Defense Secretary, sparking Slotkin’s reaction to the decision.

“I have deep respect for Gen. Lloyd Austin. We worked together when he commanded U.S. forces in Iraq, when he was vice chief of the Army, and when he was the CENTCOM commander,” Slotkin said. “But choosing another recently retired general to serve in a role designed for a civilian just feels off.”

“The job of secretary of defense is purpose-built to ensure civilian oversight of the military. That is why it requires a waiver from the House and Senate to put a recently retired military officer in the job,” she continued. (RELATED: ‘Brand Has Been Weak For A While’ — Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin Admits There Is ‘Problem’ With Party’s Message)

“And after the last 4 years, civil-military relations at the Pentagon definitely need to be rebalanced. Gen. Austin has had an incredible career––but I’ll need to understand what he and the Biden Administration plan to do to address these concerns before I can vote for his waiver,” Slotkin concluded. (RELATED: REPORT: Joe Biden Will Tap Retired General Lloyd Austin As Defense Secretary)

Austin is the former head of U. S. Central Command and rose to the top of the list as there were calls for Biden to appoint more African Americans to cabinet positions in his administration, according to Politico.