U.S. House backs waiver allowing Mattis to serve as defense secretary

Jonathan Ernst—Reuters
Incoming Trump administration cabinet secretary nominees including Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson (L-R)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives backed a waiver on Friday that will allow James Mattis to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of defense, despite having retired as a Marine General in 2013. The House voted 268 to 151, largely along party lines, for a one-time waiver of a provision of a law on civilian control of the U.S. military that requires a seven-year wait after retirement before active-duty military can lead the Department of Defense.