Retired General Lloyd Austin Confirmed as Secretary of Defense, Ruppersberger Supported Required Waiver
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Defense Appropriator voted in support of the waiver required for confirmation of retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. After the waiver passed in the House of Representatives yesterday in an overwhelming and bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate quickly followed suit and confirmed the nomination in a vote of 93 to 2 today.
A retired four-star Army general with more than 40 years of uniformed service, Secretary Austin becomes the first Black Secretary of Defense in U.S. history.
Secretary Austin retired from the military five years ago. Without a waiver, military leaders must wait seven years from retirement before assuming the position of Secretary of Defense. Congressman Ruppersberger, who is a Defense Appropriator, also supported a waiver for retired General James Mattis when he was nominated for the post by then-President Trump in 2016.
“I understand the purpose of the waiver process and asked President Biden and Secretary Austin for transparency and availability throughout the confirmation process and both readily complied,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Time and again, Secretary Austin has reiterated his belief in civilian control of our nation’s Armed Forces and has personally reached out to Members of Congress to articulate his values and priorities.
Secretary Austin has served our country with distinction and understands the threats facing our nation. I look forward to working with him in the days ahead and helping to ensure he has the resources he needs to confront them head-on while supporting our troops on and off the battlefield.”