Joe Biden has reportedly selected Lloyd Austin III, a retired four-star Army general, as his nominee for defense secretary. This news has been confirmed by CNN.
If he is in fact confirmed, Austin will become the first Black leader of the defense department. Yet, his nomination will likely face some pushback since it will require a waiver from Congress due to his recent military service.
According to Title 10 of the United States Code, a waiver is required if the nominee has been a military officer in the last seven years. General Austin retired from the Army in May 2016.
The waiver requires approval by Senate and House majorities, as well as the president’s signature. Republicans will no doubt recall that when President Trump had nominated former Marine General Jim Mattis, 17 Democrats including three Senators on the Armed Services Committee, Richard Blumenthal, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren, had voted against it.