Within an hour of Donald Trump confirming he will nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) released a statement saying she will oppose a waiver necessary for Mattis to serve.
Mattis retired in 2013 after more than four decades of military service. Because he was recently in uniform, the law requires a waiver from Congress for him to become defense secretary. In her statement, Gillibrand, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel, said that while she "deeply respects" Mattis' service, she will oppose the waiver because "civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule."
The chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said earlier he will move to act on Mattis' confirmation "as soon as possible in the new Congress."