According to a senior Democratic official, the House of Representatives has enough votes to do so
The House of Representatives has enough votes to overturn the post-service requirement for appointment as Pentagon chief in the case of retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, President Biden’s nominee for secretary of defense.
CNN reported this on Thursday, referring to the words of House Democratic Caucus organizer James Clyburn.
The rule in question is designed to guarantee civilian control of the U.S. armed forces.
Citing unnamed sources, CNN reported that Clyburn said in a telephone conversation that there are enough votes in the House of Representatives, where a vote on Austin’s nomination is due later Thursday, to approve not applying the above rule to him.
As a reminder, the law requires that a military officer running for the Pentagon must have been retired for seven years. Otherwise, he will need special permission from the lawmakers. Earlier, the first Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, Jim Mattis, received such permission.