Senate Confirms Austin To Lead Pentagon Under Biden

By Staff Reporter
Posted on 01/22/21 | News Source: The Hill

The Senate has approved President Biden’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, paving the way for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to make history as the nation’s first Black secretary of Defense.

The Senate confirmed Austin in a 93-2 Friday morning vote, giving Biden his second Cabinet member two days after his inauguration.

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Presidents typically have key national security nominees confirmed on Inauguration Day, but a combination of factors — including the Trump administration delaying the transition, control of the Senate being up in the air until the Georgia runoffs in early January and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — meant Biden only got one confirmed on his first day: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

The Senate could also vote as soon as Friday on Biden’s nominees for secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, but votes have not been scheduled.

Austin had the additional hurdle of needing Congress to approve a waiver allowing him to bypass a law barring recently retired generals from leading the Pentagon. Read more at The Hill