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House, Senate approve waiver to allow Biden's pick for Defense Sec. to be considered

Biden Cabinet National Security
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 18:29:49-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Biden the first bill that he'll sign into law, a measure to allow retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense.

Both the House and Senate on Thursday easily passed a waiver that would allow Austin to hold the position, clearing the way for him to be confirmed as defense secretary by week’s end.

The action on Austin's nomination comes despite bipartisan concerns about preserving civilian control of the military.

Lawmakers had to approve a waiver for Austin because he retired from the service within the last seven years. He would be the first Black secretary of defense in U.S. history.