In an effort to expedite the confirmation process for Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, Congressional Republicans introduced a “must-pass” spending bill with an attached waiver to allow retired Gen. James Mattis to serve in Trump’s cabinet.
The move is an attempt by Republicans to sidestep the usual congressional procedures and avoid debate over Trump’s nominee.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) December 7, 2016
Under current law, ex-military officials are not permitted to become secretary of defense until they’ve been out of service for at least seven years – unless they are granted a waiver. Mattis, Trump’s pick for the position, left the military just three years ago, meaning he would need to be given an exception by Congress.
More from Politico:
Democrats say they don’t necessarily oppose Mattis or even granting him a waiver but rather object to the philosophical idea of speeding up a nomination to be considered by future Congresses.
“I find it very troubling that the members of this Congress would put language into what next year’s Congress should be held accountable for,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who will be the No. 3 party leader next year. “It would be bad precedent. … Mattis will most likely go through” anyway.
And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it “troubling that Republicans are working so hard to shield President-elect Trump’s choice for Secretary of Defense from the scrutiny and debate of Congress and the American people.”
Instead of going through the proper motions of obtaining a waiver, Republicans are threatening a government shutdown since many Democrats have already expressed their firm opposition to the dirty move. It’s an irresponsible way to treat a spending bill.
If this is the way the government will operate under complete Republican control for (at least) the next two years, then we’re in big trouble.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.