WASHINGTON: The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):
President-elect Joe Bidens pick to lead the Defense Department says hes aware of the historical moment that would come with his confirmation.
Retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin said Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, that a man from his own hometown of Thomasville, Georgia, became the first Black graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Austin, who would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon if confirmed by the Senate, said that man and others, including the Tuskegee Airmen and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, paved the way for me and countless others to be part of the U.S. military.
Austin would need a congressional waiver to hold the position since hes been out of the military less than the seven years required by law.
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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:
President-elect Joe Biden says he is asking Congress for a waiver to allow for the confirmation of retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin as secretary of defense because the moment calls for it.
Biden said Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, that he would not be asking for this exemption if I did not believe this moment in our history didnt call for it. It does call for it.
If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon and would need to obtain a congressional waiver to serve as defense secretary. Congress intended civilian control of the military when it created the position of secretary of defense in 1947 and prohibited a recently retired military officer from holding the position. Austin retired in 2016.
Biden said there is no doubt in his mind that Austin will honor, respect and on a day-to-day basis breathe life into the preeminent principle of civilian leadership over military matters in our nation.
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