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Politics Austin sworn in as nation's first Black Pentagon chief

21:19  22 january  2021
21:19  22 january  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Biden’s defense secretary pick likely to obtain waiver despite bipartisan concerns

  Biden’s defense secretary pick likely to obtain waiver despite bipartisan concerns Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin is still unlikely to be confirmed as defense secretary before the end of next week, making Biden the first president in decades not to have his Pentagon pick in place on Day One. “We now have a clearly qualified candidate and a declaration by the president-elect that he needs General Austin for the safety and security of the nation,” said Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), the committee’s top Democrat, who will soon take over as its chairman.

Lloyd Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon , breaking one of the more enduring barriers in the U.S. government. The Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as the next Pentagon chief Friday, making him the nation ' s first Black Defense secretary.

The US Senate confirmed President Joe Biden' s choice for defense secretary, Lloyd Austin , in a landslide vote on Friday, making him the first black person ever to run the Pentagon and oversee the country' s military.

Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin was sworn in as secretary of Defense on Friday, becoming the first Black head of the Pentagon in U.S. history.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Austin sworn in as nation's first Black Pentagon chief © Getty Austin sworn in as nation's first Black Pentagon chief

After he was sworn in by Tom Muir, acting director of Washington Headquarters Services, Austin jumped into his duties with an intelligence briefing and meetings with Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, according to a Pentagon statement.

Austin also had plans to chair a COVID-19 briefing, attended by the Norquist, Milley, service secretaries and chiefs, combatant commanders, staff and Pentagon COVID-19 Coordinator Max Rose.

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Lloyd Austin confirmed by Senate to lead Pentagon in the Biden administration, becoming the nation ’ s first Black The Senate on Friday voted 93 to 2 to confirm Lloyd Austin to lead the Pentagon in the Biden Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States | Read his speech.

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In addition, he will call NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and receive operational briefings about China and the Middle East, the Pentagon said.

The rest of his afternoon will consist of administrative check-in procedures.

The Senate earlier on Friday confirmed Austin in a 93-2 vote, giving Biden his second Cabinet member two days after his inauguration. Avril Haines was confirmed as director of national intelligence on Wednesday.

The only votes against Austin's confirmation came from GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Mike Lee (Utah).

"It's an honor and a privilege to serve as our country's 28th Secretary of Defense, and I'm especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position," Austin tweeted after he was confirmed. "Let's get to work."

Austin had overcome the hurdle of getting Congress to approve a waiver allowing him to bypass a law barring recently retired generals from leading the Pentagon.

The 1947 law is meant to ensure civilian control of the military by requiring that Defense secretaries be out of uniform for at least seven years.

Though Austin retired from the military in 2016, lawmakers fast-tracked the waiver on Thursday. Both chambers of Congress approved it within hours of each other, citing a confluence of crises including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate confirms Biden’s Defense nominee after fast-track Congressional waiver .
The Senate moved expeditiously to assemble President Joe Biden’s national security team, overwhelmingly confirming retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as both chambers granted him a special waiver to serve as Defense Secretary despite having been out of uniform for only four years. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Senate voted 93-2 to confirm him; Austin's nomination needed only a simple majority of the 100 senators to be approved.

usr: 0
This is interesting!