As previously reported, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the first member of Congress to voice opposition for retired Marine General James Mattis to be the next secretary of defense. Her reasoning was because Gen. Mattis has not yet reach the seven-year requirement of being away from the military in order to fill the role. 

As Gen. Mattis is speaking with different members of Congress this week, he did have a meeting with Senator Gillibrand. Even after meeting the Warrior Monk, Senator Gillibrand says she will still oppose the waiver required for him to be SecDef.  

During the meeting, Senator Gillibrand said they talked about sexual assault in the military:

But she still wants to maintain a purer form of civilian control of the U.S. military:

Senator Gillibrand is not the only person in Congress who has voiced opposition. Representative Ruben Gallego, who is a Marine veteran, put out a press release in December explaining why he will not support the waiver for Gen. Mattis.

Echoing Senator Gillibrand, Rep. Gallego said civilian control of the armed forces is important:

“As a veteran, I believe strongly in the principle of civilian leadership of the military. Current law requires that a military officer be out of active duty for at least seven years before taking the job of defense secretary. I do not believe this long-standing check should be cast aside, and I will oppose a waiver of this rule, even for someone as exceptionally qualified as General Mattis.”

 

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