Tags: GOP | Patience | James Mattis

Report: Hill Republicans Running Out of Patience With Mattis

Image: Report: Hill Republicans Running Out of Patience With Mattis
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:44 AM

Congressional Republicans are running out of patience with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Politico reported.

Republicans have two key misgivings about the otherwise highly-respected 4-star general:

Mattis has rebuffed making political choices to key Department of Defense positions, instead opting for people he thinks can do the job, even if they're former staffers from Democratic administrations.

Mattis hasn't advocated for an increase to defense spending.

"We've waited eight years for this, to be able to fill these posts with Republicans," a GOP staffer told Politico. "It should go without saying that a Republican administration is expected to staff federal agencies with Republicans."

Instead, Mattis has proposed hiring two former staffers from President Barack Obama's administration, one from President Bill Clinton's, and another who works at a think tank founded by a former Obama DoD staffer, Politico reported.

Further, more than a dozen Obama holdovers remain at the Pentagon.

"In picking Mattis, the president got someone who had bipartisan credibility and was seen as a tough national security official who wasn't going to toe the White House or the GOP line," Jeremy Bash, a former Pentagon spokesman told Politico.

"Independence is an important attribute in a secretary of defense. But when you get that, you get frustration from the political folks."

Mattis has already won one battle with the White House, issuing an ultimatum over a Trump staffer who was blocking Mattis on some of his proposed DoD appointments.

Further, defense hawks aren't happy that Mattis isn't fighting harder for more than the 3 percent increase in defense spending proposed by the White House and that he's been lax in trying to roll back the Obama-era Budget Control Act, Politico reported.

"Everybody thinks very highly of (Mattis), but he doesn't have any political sense and he doesn't think he needs any political sense," a former Bush administration Defense Department official told Politico. "But it's quintessentially a political job."

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Congressional Republicans are running out of patience with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Politico reported.
GOP, Patience, James Mattis
316
2017-44-22
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017 10:44 AM
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