Congress poised for quick action on Biden’s Pentagon nominee

Lloyd Austin

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is moving quickly to install retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense.

The House on Thursday easily passed a waiver that would allow Austin to hold the position.

All signs point to quick action in the Senate after that, which means Austin could be confirmed as defense secretary by week’s end. The action on Austin’s nomination comes despite bipartisan concerns about preserving civilian control of the military.

Lawmakers had to approve a waiver for Austin because he retired from the service within the last seven years. He would be the first Black secretary of defense in U.S. history.

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