Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star Army general, has been confirmed by the Senate, making him the first Black secretary of defense in U.S. history.
The Senate approved President Biden’s nomination for Pentagon chief in a near-unanimous 93 to 2 vote.
Austin’s nomination was approved despite concerns raised on both sides of the aisle that he hadn’t been out of uniform for the legally mandated seven-year period.
The National Security Act of 1947 created the rule to ensure civilian control over the military is maintained, but also permits a waiver if lawmakers in both the House and the Senate approve.
Those votes too passed in bipartisan fashion, clearing the way for Austin’s confirmation.
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