As the inaugural activities unfolded, one negative hanging over the head of President Trump was that none of his cabinet picks had been approved by the Senate. That has now changed, as CNBC on Twitter is reporting that the Senate has confirmed Trump’s Defense Secretary General James Mattis:
It is perhaps surprising that Mattis was the first to be approved by the Senate, as he required a waiver from the House to serve as Defense Secretary. Federal law requires 7 years between military service and civilian control of the military, but Mattis was such a popular pick, he was able to obtain an exception to that law. President Trump signed the waiver into law shortly after taking the oath of office today.
President Trump is still waiting on the Senate to take action on his other nominees, and there is no indication when they might be confirmed. However, the Defense Secretary is vital to national security, and getting him quickly confirmed was an important first step for the Senate.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]