Senate to hold confirmation vote on Biden’s defense secretary pick

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) The Senate will hold a confirmation vote on Friday for President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Defense.

South Alabama’s Republican Congressman voted on Thursday to approve a waiver to permit retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense in the Biden administration. Gen. Austin, who would be the first African American to the run the Department of Defense, is a native of Mobile.

In a statement to WKRG News 5, Rep. Jerry Carl called Gen. Austin well-qualified for the job. “I am optimistic that he will push back against far-left attempts to cut military funding and weaken our nation’s defenses,” said Carl.

Before taking the job, Austin needed a waiver from a law requiring a defense secretary to wait seven years after active-duty service. The waiver has been approved only twice before, including for President Trump’s pick to lead the department, James Mattis, in 2017. Both chambers of Congress passed the waiver for Austin on Thursday.

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