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Dem Rep. Gallego Opposing Mattis Waiver for Defense Post

Image: Dem Rep. Gallego Opposing Mattis Waiver for Defense Post

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. (AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 05 Dec 2016 04:22 PM

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., a former Marine, announced Monday he will not support a waiver allowing retired Gen. James Mattis to lead the Defense Department.

"As a veteran, I believe strongly in the principle of civilian leadership of the military," Gallego said in a statement, according to The Hill. "Current law requires that a military officer be out of active duty for at least seven years before taking the job of defense secretary.

"I do not believe this long-standing check should be cast aside, and I will oppose a waiver of this rule, even for someone as exceptionally qualified as General Mattis," he added. "As a fellow Marine, I greatly admire General James Mattis' dedication and leadership. We all should be incredibly grateful for his many years of service to our nation."

Gallego's fellow Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced Thursday she would vote against a waiver for Mattis.

"While I deeply respect General Mattis's service, I will oppose a waiver," the senator said in a statement, according to Politico. "Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule."

The law restricting recently retired military officers from serving as secretary of defense dates back to 1947, and could require the GOP to scoop eight votes from Democrats in the Senate to get their party's choice into office.

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Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., a former Marine, announced Monday he will not support a waiver allowing retired Gen. James Mattis to lead the Defense Department.
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2016-22-05
Monday, 05 Dec 2016 04:22 PM
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