Tags: Trump Administration | Gillibrand | Vows | Oppose | Mattis

Gillibrand Vows to Oppose Mattis Waiver

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(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 03 Dec 2016 12:43 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she deeply respects retired Marine Gen. James Mattis' service, but she plans to oppose a waiver allowing him to serve as Defense secretary because "civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy."

According to federal law, military personnel must be separated from the service for at least seven years, or obtain a Congressional waiver in order to serve in senior defense posts. Mattis retired just three years ago, and Gillibrand said this week that she will "not vote for an exception to this rule," reports The Washington Free Beacon.

Gillibrand, a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, could potentially derail Trump's appointment, if she can convince Democrats to vote against granting the Mattis waiver. At least eight Democrats will need to vote on the waiver for it to pass with a required 60 votes, reports Politico.

Mattis' nomination, confirmed by Trump during a post-election win rally in Cincinnati, has been widely hailed, however, by lawmakers in both parties, as well as defense experts and former officials.

"He is without a doubt one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops," Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. "General Mattis has a clear understanding of the many challenges facing the Department of Defense, the U.S. military, and our national security. America will be fortunate to have General Mattis in its service once again."

Gillibrand was one of seven Democrats voting against the annual defense policy bill to authorize funds to support troops, and earlier this year accused the Pentagon of misleading Congress on military sexual assault figures.

Mattis, meanwhile, opposes sending military women into combat — and suggested their close contact with male soldiers in the trenches "is not setting them up for success."

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she deeply respects retired Marine Gen. James Mattis' service, but she plans to oppose waiver allowing him to serve as Defense secretary because "civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy."
Gillibrand, Vows, Oppose, Mattis
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2016-43-03
Saturday, 03 Dec 2016 12:43 PM
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