Austin retired in 2016. He requested an exemption from the law, requiring him to wear a uniform for seven years before serving as the head of the Pentagon. Congress also exempted retired Marine Corps General Jim Mattis from running the Department of Defense under the leadership of former President Donald Trump.
In addition to the Senate confirmation vote, abstentions must also be passed by the Senate and Senate votes.
The House of Representatives will vote in an abstention on Thursday afternoon. Austin is scheduled to close secretly to the Cabinet Armed Forces Committee before the vote.
At the same time, the Senate leader has opened a hotline (a procedure for fast-tracking bills) on the immunity of the House of Representatives, which means that if no senator opposes expedited deliberation, the upper house can quickly pass the measure once it passes the House of Representatives. .
The Pentagon’s election of a second four-star general in four years disturbed legislators on both sides, which raised concerns about further weakening the already unstable principles of military and civilian control.
The closed-door briefing in the House of Representatives replaced the planned public hearing in Austin about the military being controlled by civilians. Although it was not broadcast publicly, Democrats have expressed confidence that nothing will happen to the exemption.
House Armed Forces Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has been pushing Democrats to support abstention in recent days and has privately expressed belief that a large number of Republicans will support this measure.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also relied on Democrats to support Biden̵
“Can you bring doubtful benefits to the President of the United States?” According to Democrats, Pelosi asked members to participate.
Austin also received the support of the new Senate Armed Forces Chairman Jack Reid (DR.I.) and ranked Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe.
In a statement announcing the vote, the panel warned that the entire Senate “will vote to confirm Austin only after the committee has received and reviewed Austin’s answers to record questions.” But Reid called on Austin to confirm “as soon as possible.”
Reid said in a statement: “The Senate must protect the American people together.” “There is an urgent need to establish a new national security team. This is an urgent and widely recognized need.”
However, several members of the Senate Armed Forces on both sides said they would not support abstention, including Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Connecticut. Richard Blumenthal.
But Austin strode through the Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, vowing to raise the voice of the Pentagon civilians, respond to congressional oversight, and expand the terms of his ethics agreement to prohibit him from making decisions that affect the defense contractor Raytheon’s technology. Member of the board.
Heather Caygle and Andrew Desiderio contributed to this report.