The US Senate has confirmed Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary.
The US Senate has confirmed Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary.
The Senate voted 93-2 with Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) being the sole “no” votes.
Austin would be the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed so far.
Austin already retired in 2016 and had to be granted a waiver from a law requiring a defense secretary candidate to wait seven years after serving before going back on duty.
Both the senate and congress approved the waiver and made Austin eligible for the job.
The same precedent was also done for defense secretary Jim Mattis during the Trump administration.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said he had no concern with Austin’s appointment.
“I understand and respect the reservations some of you have expressed about having another recently retired general at the head of the Department of Defense. The safety and security of our democracy demands competent civilian control of our armed forces, the subordination of military power to the civil,” said Austin.