Senate confirms Lloyd Austin for Defense Secretary

The confirmation comes a day after both chambers approved a waiver for Austin.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin
Reuters

The US Senate voted on Friday to confirm President Joe Biden's Defense Secretary pick, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, CNN reports.

Austin, who retired in 2016 and had to be granted a waiver from a law requiring a Defense Secretary to wait seven years after active-duty service before taking the job. The House approved the waiver Thursday afternoon, followed by Senate approval of the measure.

The waiver had only been approved twice before in history, including for James Mattis to run President Donald Trump's Pentagon in 2017.

Austin will be the first African American to serve as Defense Secretary.

Thursday's votes cleared the way for final confirmation in the Senate. Friday's vote was 93-2. Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri were the only two no votes, noted CNN.

Austin retired from the military in 2016 after serving as the commander of US Central Command since 2013.

He also served time as commanding US general in Iraq and as the vice chief of the staff of the Army.

At a confirmation hearing earlier this week, Austin said that Iran posed a threat to American allies in the region and forces stationed there.

“Iran continues to be a destabilizing element in the region. It does present a threat to our partners in the region and those forces that we have stationed in the region,” Austin stated.

“If Iran were ever to get a nuclear capability, most every problem we deal with in the region would be tougher to deal with because of that,” he warned.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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