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    (CNN)Here's a look at the life of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.Personal Birth date: August 8, 1953 Birth place: Mobile, AlabamaBirth name: Lloyd James Austin IIIRead MoreFather: Lloyd James Austin Jr., postal workerMother: Aletia Taylor Austin, homemakerMarriage: Charlene Denise (Banner) Austin (early 1980s-present)Children: Reginald Hill (stepson); Christopher Hill (stepson)Education: United States Military Academy, B.S., 1975; Auburn University, M.E., counselor education, 1986; Webster University, M.A., management and leadership, 1989; War Army College (1996-1997 attended)Military service: US Army, 1975-2016, four-star generalOther FactsHas achieved many firsts: The first African American secretary of defense. The first African American to serve as vice chief of staff of the Army. The first African American to lead US Central Command. The first African American to lead an Army corps in combat. The first African American commanding general of a US Army Division. Awarded numerous decorations for his military service, including five Defense Distinguished Service Medals,...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will visit the COVID-19 vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles as part of his first official trip as head of the Defense Department. Austin’s Wednesday trip will include the U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs; the federally-supported vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles, and naval facilities in San Diego. Defense officials did not give an exact timeline of Austin’s trip. The vaccination site, where “active-duty and National Guard personnel are supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s community vaccination center,” opened on Feb. 16. It is one of the 100 federally-supported vaccine operations being set up across the nation. Austin is also scheduled to meet with the crew of the USS Nimitz, which is returning to San Diego after 10 months on duty, and visit military vaccination operations on Naval Base San Diego and Naval Air Station North Island.
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a video message Friday asking members of the military to tell commanders of any personal experiences with extremists or extremist ideology. Austin began by praising members of the military. “There’s not a single doubt in my mind that you take seriously your oath to the Constitution. And that you serve this country with honor and dignity, and character. And that you believe in and uphold our core values each and everyday,” he said. He then acknowledged the sacrifices military members and their families make, and said his 60-day stand down to address extremism in the military may seem like another “burden.” “But the truth of the matter is, we need your help. I’m talking of course about extremism and extremist ideology. Views and conduct that run counter to everything that we believe in. And which can actually tear at the fabric of who we are as...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called on members of the military to share their experiences with extremism in a 60-day push aimed at reducing the scourge in the ranks. “We need your help,” Austin said during a five-minute training message while standing at the Pentagon press room podium. “I’m talking, of course, about extremism and extremist ideology — views and conduct that run counter to everything that we believe in and which can actually tear at the fabric of who we are as an institution,” he said. Less than a month after the Capitol riots, which have seen the arrest of military veterans and active-duty service members, Austin called for the 60-day effort across the force to include a one-day listening session with leadership. LLOYD AUSTIN CALLS FOR 60-DAY ASSESSMENT OF EXTREMISM WITHIN MILITARY AFTER CAPITOL RIOT Across the globe, units began discussions while others waited for guidance and training material....
    U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday to reaffirm the “strategic defense partnership” between the two nations and discuss recent changes to U.S. policy on Yemen, the Pentagon said. Why it matters: The call comes just days after the White House said it would “recalibrate” its relationship with Saudi Arabia, and return to “counterpart to counterpart” engagement, with President Biden’s counterpart being King Salman, not MBS. Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free. The big picture: Since taking office, the Biden administration has announced the end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive operations in Yemen, reversed the Trump administration’s decision to designate Yemen’s Houthi rebels as a terror group, and paused an arms deal with the kingdom. The Biden administration is also set to release a U.S. intelligence report that concluded that MBS...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was silent Thursday on whether the Biden administration will commit to a full U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan ahead of a fast-approaching May deadline. Meanwhile, as Austin’s first NATO ministerial meeting as secretary wrapped up, he praised the alliance for promising to increase its troop level in Iraq dramatically. “He told the allies that the U.S. is conducting a thorough review of the conditions of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement to determine whether all parties have adhered to those conditions,” according to a Pentagon statement released after the conclusion of the virtual meeting. Consistent with prior Defense Department comments, the statement said Austin would consult NATO allies and partners throughout the process but gave no indication which way the president and secretary are leaning. However, less than 10 weeks remain in that process if the United States is to comply with a February 2019 peace deal inked...
    President Joe Biden will pay tribute to black service members on Tuesday in his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief. His stopover comes as the president goes about business as usual while the Senate hears House prosecutors make the case to impeach former President Donald Trump on the charge of inciting the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill. Biden made several record breaking appointments when he put together his Pentagon team, including appointing retired General Lloyd Austin as his defense secretary, the first African American to hold the position. He and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Austin before addressing defense department staff.  The president also will tour the African Americans in Service Corridor in the Pentagon - a visit that comes during Black History Month. President Joe Biden will pay tribute to black service members in his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in...
    RETIRED army general Lloyd Austin, who was recently appointed to President Joe Biden's cabinet, has dedicated most of his life to the US military. Lloyd, an Alabama native said it was an "honor and privilege" to make up part of Biden's diverse cabinet. 4US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, DCCredit: AFP Who is Lloyd Austin married to? Lloyd married Charlene Austin four decades ago. The pair met at Auburn university, the college from which they both graduated. Charlene is a national advisor for the Military Child Education Coalition. She is also a board member for the Military Family Research Institute of Purdue University. Charlene also provided volunteer consulting to local and national non-profit organizations from 2009 to 2016. She also serves on the Board of Governance for United Way Suncoast based in Tampa Florida and...
            by Eric Lendrum  Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has issued an unprecedented “stand down” order for the entirety of the United States military over the course of the next 60 days, for the purpose of addressing alleged “extremism” in the military’s ranks, as reported by Breitbart. Austin announced the decision in a Tweet on Wednesday, saying that he “met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, I’m ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command, and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue.” Austin did not provide any specifics on what kind of “extremism” he expects to find within the military, nor did he present any proof that such “extremism” even exists. During his confirmation hearings, he said that he would make it his mission to “rid our ranks of racists...
    Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak asked Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) about Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s claim that “extremism in the military” necessitates a 60-day “stand down” order across the armed services to address. Last week, Austin issued a military-wide order for commanders to spend the next 60 days discussing “extremism” with military personnel. Today, I met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, Im ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue. It comes down to leadership. Everyone’s. pic.twitter.com/wbC21hdHaV — Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) February 4, 2021 “I’m very concerned about Lloyd Austin,” Pollak stated on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday. “He got a waiver from Congress just like James Mattis did. … Lloyd Austin said some really astonishing things...
    Approximately 10 pounds of explosives are missing at a U.S. Marine Corps base in Southern California. The high-powered explosives, which have been identified as Composition C-4, disappeared at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base two weeks ago during a training exercise, ABC 10 reported on Thursday. Top brass within the San Bernardino County military installation have offered a reward for the missing devices and investigators have entertained the possibility of theft. Capt. Zachary Colvin, with the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, did not confirm details, but told the outlet "the ongoing investigation into this incident is being handled by NCIS and the affected units." The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Twentynine Palms did not immediately return a request for comment from the Washington Examiner at the time of publishing. The missing explosives precede an announcement made by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday when he ordered a 60-day...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday ordered U.S. military commanders at every single unit across the force to focus for the next 60 days on discussing extremism with service members. “Today, I met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, I’m ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue. It comes down to leadership. Everyone’s,” he tweeted Wednesday. Today, I met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, Im ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue. It comes down to leadership. Everyone’s. pic.twitter.com/wbC21hdHaV — Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) February 4, 2021 Austin, the department’s first...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a “stand down” of the entire US military over the next 60 days in order for commanders to address “extremism” in its ranks. News of the military-wide pause came in an announcement Wednesday from The Pentagon, with press secretary John Kirby describing the move to reporters as similar to stand downs that units have to do to address safety concerns. Austin issued the order following a meeting about the issue with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, as well as service civilian leaders and service chiefs. The group also discussed last month’s Capitol riot, Kirby said, noting the presence of veterans and active duty service members at the shocking scene. They left the meeting still uncertain of how to fully address the problem. According to Kirby, the riot was “a wake-up call” for the entire department. Supporters of Donald Trump clash with...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a service-wide "stand down" for the next 60 days to give military leaders the chance to address extremism in the ranks — after the Pentagon was stunned to find that veterans and active-duty service members were among those involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in January. Under the stand down, service members would have a break in their regular activity, so "each service, each command and each unit can take the time out to have these needed discussions with the men and women of the force," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday. The 60-day period would enable commanders to schedule events based on the rhythm of their operations, but it's not fully clear what shape this stand down will take. The events of January 6 were "a wakeup call" for the Pentagon and for Austin, the nation's first Black defense secretary, Kirby...
    When Lloyd Austin commanded the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg in the mid-1990s, he “missed the mark,” failing to realize that he had skinheads in his ranks who had committed murders off-base. Two decades later, as a civilian defense secretary, he has ordered the service secretaries and military chiefs to conduct a 60-day assessment, or “stand down,” to determine how to root out extremism in the ranks. “The events of Jan. 6 served as a wake-up call for this department,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told defense reporters at a gaggle on Wednesday, referring to the Capitol riot by some of former President Donald Trump's supporters. Federal and local law enforcement officials said they have identified white supremacists and other far-Right individuals within the violent mob. “There were members, sadly, of the active-duty force participating and espousing these radical beliefs,” he added. “We don’t know the full breadth and depth of...
    Loading the player... Jason Smedley remembers the pain of his 2000 attack by lower-ranking Marines during a training exercise he led as a lance corporal at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry. While some held Smedley, the others beat him, knocking out many of his teeth. “They just didn’t like taking orders from a Black guy,” Smedley said. As punishment, the group was barred from going out that weekend.  Unable to speak after enduring multiple dental surgeries, Smedley fell behind in the training and almost had to start over. At his breaking point, Smedley planned to leave the Marine Corps, until a Major convinced him to stay and ensured he would graduate with his group. Read More: Austin wins Senate confirmation as 1st Black Pentagon chief Smedley, who grew up in Little Rock Arkansas, graduated at the top of his class and has been serving in...
    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin fired hundreds of members of Pentagon policy advisory boards Tuesday, resorting to a blunt method of removing last-minute Trump administration appointees, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Senate confirmed Austin as defense secretary January 22, and he is now cleaning house at the Pentagon less than a week later. His Tuesday firings hit appointees from nearly every recent administration, The Wall Street Journal reported. President Donald Trump made a wave of last-minute appointments to every sector of the federal government before leaving office. The appointees enjoy strong protections from being fired for political reasons, but Austin’s decision to fire the the boards en masse circumvents those protections. (RELATED: How Biden Will Deal With The ‘Deep State’ Trump Built For Him) “Advisory boards have and will continue to provide an important role in shaping public policy within [the Department of Defense],” Austin wrote in a memo...
    Savannah Rychcik January 29, 2021 0 Comments Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin paid a visit to National Guard troops stationed outside of the U.S. Capitol to thank them for their service just weeks after rioters stormed the location. “I wanted to just come by and say thanks for what you’re doing and I know it’s a little chilly out here. I know we’re going to do the right thing to take care of you so make sure you talk to your chain of command if you need anything,” Lloyd said. He continued, “I want to tell you we’re really grateful for your service and we know it’s not easy to leave home and come out here and help us out, but you’re doing a great service on behalf of your country and protecting the Capitol so that lawmakers can rest at ease and do the work that they...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has blocked a number of former President Donald Trump’s appointees to Pentagon advisory boards in an effort by the Defense Department to filter out last-minute appointments from the previous administration. The move was announced in an email Wednesday to advisory board members, Politico first reported. The Pentagon noted that “all appointments, reappointments and renewals” to the boards would be subject to a “thorough review by the new administration.” SCOOP: DOD has suspended the processing of a number of Trump’s last-minute appointees to defense advisory boards. The move effectively prevents a number of Trump allies, including Corey Lewandoski and David Bossie, from actually serving on the panels. https://t.co/miQVKbl3MK — Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) January 28, 2021 The directive reportedly affected five advisory boards including the Defense Business Board, the Defense Policy Board, the Defense Science Board, the Defense Innovation Board and the Defense Healthcare Board. The advisory...
    The Pentagon is weighing whether to send troops to mass vaccination centers to assist with federal inoculation efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency submitted the request to the Defense Department on Wednesday. One of the options that the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security are exploring is sending up to 10,000 troops to vaccine hubs, CNN reported. “The department is evaluating the request, and what kinds of support it can provide. Given the significance of the request, it will be reviewed urgently but carefully to determine what DOD assets can safely be made available to support the effort,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby in a statement. “As Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has said, DOD is committed to do as much as it possibly can to assist the whole-of-government effort against Covid-19,” Kirby added. FEMA is aiming to establish up to 100 federally...
    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Will President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin finally be the team that takes serious action against sexual assault in the military? Both have signaled willingness to try something new in the fight against a problem that military leaders, members of Congress, and former President Barack Obama have said they wanted to fix, only to back away from significant changes to the current system. One key reform, pushed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, that military leaders have fiercely resisted would be to have decisions about prosecuting sexual assault cases made outside the chain of command by experienced military prosecutors. Biden has backed this change—and Austin is reportedly open to it, especially after meeting remotely with military sexual assault survivors and hearing from them. Only a small fraction of service members sexually assaulted on the job report the assault in an actionable way, and for good reason—many who do experience retaliation. A...
    Terminally-ill pediatrician Bharat Narumanchi killed himself and another pediatrician, Lindley Dodson, during a hostage situation at a children’s medical center in Texas on Tuesday.  The case is being ruled as a murder-suicide, according to investigators. Narumanchi was diagnosed as terminally ill from cancer and only had weeks left to live, police said.  Narumanchi applied to volunteer at the medical center a week before the attack, which was the first and only time Dodson and Narumanchi had contact, authorities say.  “Dr. Dodson never had direct contact with this man until yesterday," Victoria Ishaak, an employee at the center at the time of the incident, told the Austin American-Statesman.  There were five hostages at the beginning of the incident. Some escaped and others Narumanchi allowed to leave. Dodson was the only one forced to stay.  "They were released because they were not a doctor," Ishaak said. "This guy did not want anything to do with...
    Democrats denigrated the U.S. military by framing the armed forces as plagued by “white supremacy” and “white nationalism,” noted Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak. Good recalled remarks Democrats made on the House floor regarding retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin’s confirmation hearings for the position of defense secretary. Democrats described Austin’s race as relevant to his heading of the Pentagon. Good stated, “Democrats said on the House floor that because of the white supremacy problem within our military, because of white nationalism in our military, because of these racist hate groups that dominate our military, we’ve got to appoint an African-American to secretary of defense to bring diversity and inclusion leadership into the military.” LISTEN: “The military is one of the most diverse components of our society,” Good added. “It was ahead in diversity going back decades, and to smear...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he “fully” supported President Joe Biden’s reversal of former President Donald Trump’s military transgender policy, Biden issued the executive order Monday. “I fully support the President’s direction that all transgender individuals who wish to serve in the United States military and can meet the appropriate standards shall be able to do so openly and free from discrimination,” Austin said in a statement. The Trump administration required transgender military recruits to serve in their biological sex. Biden’s executive order reverses that policy and allows transgender recruits to serve in their “self-identified” gender. Austin said the department would “immediately take appropriate policy action” to ensure that individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and serve in their self-identified gender. He added: These changes will ensure no one will be separated or discharged, or denied reenlistment, solely on the basis of gender identity. Prospective recruits may...
    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was ceremonially sworn in at the White House by Vice President Kamala Harris after becoming the first black defense secretary, a joint appearance that underscored the new administration's priority to fill top political roles with diverse candidates. Like Austin, Harris is the first black person to hold her respective position. She is also the first woman and first person of South Asian descent to hold the post. On Monday, Austin, President Biden's second Cabinet official to be confirmed, took his oath from Harris in the White House's Roosevelt Room, as his wife Charlene Austin held the Bible. Biden, Austin, Harris, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley met earlier in the day, shortly before the president signed an Executive Order repealing former President Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. The rule is part of Biden's "Day One"...
    The Senate voted to confirm retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as the first Black Secretary of Defense on January 22. It is the second confirmed appointment of the Biden Administration. Source: Bloomberg Quicktake: Now/YouTube The Senate voted 93-2 to confirm him. Congress approved a waiver to nominate him for the cabinet position. The minimum amount of time a citizen is required to wait to lead the Defense Department is 7 years. Austin retired in 2016 and received the waiver successfully. George C. Marshall, in the Truman administration, and James Mattis, in the Trump administration also received a waiver. “The law that we keep waiving actually exists for a good reason,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “Civilian control of the military is a fundamental principle of our republic.” Austin has served in the army for more than four decades and held a position as the commander of U.S....
    President Joe Biden will reverse Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military as early as Monday. Biden could make the announcement when he meets with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the White House, according to reports. Biden, Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris are to meet the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday morning. Any reversal would be done through an executive order.  White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said the ban would be lifted in the early days of the administration.  LGBTQ activists call the policy cruel. It was announced by President Trump via Twitter in July 2017.  The ban specifically blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.   President Joe Biden will...
    (CNN)In his first directive since taking office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is ordering senior Pentagon leadership to send him reports detailing their efforts to prevent sexual assault and harassment, as well as what accountability measures have been implemented and an assessment of whether those efforts worked."President Biden has ordered a 90-day commission to pursue solutions to sexual assault in the military. We will aggressively support that effort. But I do not want to wait 90 days to take action," Austin wrote in a memo issued Saturday. Austin, who is the first Black man to serve as Secretary of Defense, committed to "stamp out" sexual assault in the military during his confirmation hearing telling lawmakers, "The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can't do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks."Sexual assault and harassment have been a...
    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued his first directive since being confirmed on Friday, tackling the Defense Department's programs regarding sexual assault in the military. In a Saturday night memo, Austin wrote that the military cannot operate successfully if "we also have to battle enemies within the ranks," according to the Military Times. Austin's memo comes after Biden ordered a 90-day commission to "pursue solutions to sexual assault in the military." Though Austin said the department "will aggressively support that effort," his directive is meant to accelerate the process, writing that he does not "want to wait 90 days to take action." The memo orders senior leaders to present "a summary of the sexual assault harassment and accountability measures" taken "that show promise, as well as a frank, data-driven assessment of those which do not." "Include in your report the consideration of novel approaches to any of these...
    Something happened Friday in Washington that we don’t see much of these days. Republicans and Democrats came together in agreement. The Senate voted 93-2 to confirm retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense. And just a day earlier — by a margin of 326-78 in the House of Representatives and 69-27 in the Senate — Congress granted a waiver for Austin to serve as head of the Defense Department under the 1947 National Security Act. Such a waiver was required because he had been out of military service for only five years, rather than the required seven under the act. The reason we have a federal government, and the reason the states came together in the first place, was to "provide for the common defense" of our people. Keeping America safe is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an American issue. The overwhelming support of...
    The United States Senate confirmed General Lloyd Austin as the new Secretary of Defense on Friday in a historic vote, as he becomes the first African-American to head the Pentagon and the second official member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. Miami World/The world Support for Austin was overwhelming from both Republicans and Democrats with 93 votes in favor and only 2 against. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I am especially proud to be the first African-American to serve. Let’s get to work, ”he said in a message on Twitter. During his confirmation hearing earlier this week, Austin spoke of the role of US troops in the world and said that they should focus their efforts on Asia, where he considered that China will be the “most significant challenge” and described Iran. as “a destabilizing force.” Regarding Afghanistan, he...
    According to the regulations, a former military man must be retired for more than seven years to be able to head the Defense portfolio. Lloyd retired from the Armed Forces in 2017. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I am especially proud to be the first African-American to hold the position. Let’s get to work,” he said in a message on Twitter. During his confirmation hearing earlier this week, Austin spoke of the role of US troops in the world and said that they should focus their efforts on Asia, where he considered China to be the “most significant challenge” and described Iran as ” a destabilizing force. “ Regarding Afghanistan, he indicated that he would like to see how this conflict ends with a negotiated agreement. IN PHOTOS: Joe Biden is sworn in...
            by Andrew Trunsky  The Senate voted to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, making him President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed. Austin was confirmed by a bipartisan 93-2 vote and will be the first black person to serve in the role. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Utah Sen. Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against his confirmation. His nomination, however, required a waiver from both the House and Senate since he only retired in 2016, and the top defense post requires that anybody serving be retired for at least seven years to reaffirm the military’s civilian control. Austin’s waiver passed easily with bipartisan support, with 326 representatives and 69 senators voting for it. Congress underwent a similar process four years ago with Gen. James Mattis, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to lead the Department of Defense. Following...
    The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin as the Pentagon’s first black defense secretary in a bipartisan 93-2 vote. Only two Republicans, voted no — Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Lee (UT). Those not voting included Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC); Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS); Jerry Moran (R-KS); and Thom Tillis (R-NC). There was more opposition to Austin’s nomination in the House, but only the Senate has the job of confirming senior-level presidential appointees. The relatively light pushback against Biden’s nominees so far from Senate Republicans shows their willingness to work with the Biden administration. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Friday on CNN that he was voting in favor of Austin because “presidents should get real latitude in filling terms with qualified, mainstream people of their choosing.” Austin’s Senate confirmation hearing was uneventful. Democrat senators pressed him to root out white supremacists and extremists from the military...
    The Upper House approved his nomination in a near unanimous vote of 93 in favor and only two against. Miamimundo / Univision The confirmation came after Congress granted an exemption to the general, who retired a few months ago. According to the National Security law — which was passed in 1947 to guarantee civilian control over the military — he would have to have more than seven years in retirement to be able to lead the Department of Defense. But the norm allows a waiver if the legislators of both houses vote in favor of his appointment in office. Given the concerns of the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the exemption, Austin assured that he will surround himself with “experienced and trained civilian leaders” and that he will hire a chief of staff who also comes from the civilian sphere and not from the military. Austin is...
    January 22, 2021 2:37 PM | With information from EFE 15 minutes. The Senate of the United States (USA) confirmed this Friday the general, Lloyd Austin, as the new Secretary of Defense in a historic vote, since he becomes the first African American to head the Pentagon and the second official member of the President’s Cabinet, Joe Biden. Support for Austin was overwhelming, from both Republicans and Democrats. Obtained 93 votes in favor and only 2 against. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve as our nation’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I am especially proud to be the first African-American to hold the position.. Let’s get to work. “Austin said this in a message on Twitter. 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. Let’s get...
    PRESIDENT Biden announced retired Army General Lloyd Austin as his secretary of defense, forming part of his administration. Austin will be the first African American to run the department and will join other historic cabinet appointees working for the president. 6Lloyd Austin is a retired Army generalCredit: AP:Associated Press 6Austin and his wife Charlene have been married for 40 yearsCredit: Getty Images - Getty Who is Lloyd Austin's wife Charlene Austin? Lloyd Austin, 67, has been married to Charlene Austin for over 40 years. Charlene is a national advisor for the Military Child Education Coalition. She is also a board member for the Military Family Research Institute of Purdue University. 6Charlene is a national advisor for the Military Child Education CoalitionCredit: AFP - Getty Charlene also provided volunteer consulting to local and national non-profit organizations from 2009 to 2016. She also serves on the Board of Governance for United Way...
    Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin testifies in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at the U.S. Capitol on January 19, 2021. The Senate voted 93-2 Friday to confirm Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon, making him nation's first Black secretary of defense. Republicans Josh Hawley and Mike Lee voted against the confirmation. This follows votes in the House and Senate to approve a waiver exempting Austin from a seven-year hiatus from service before being allowed to hold the top position at Defense. That seven-year restriction from former generals holding the slot is a provisions of the 1947 National Security Act, intended to exercise civilian control—as required by the U.S. Constitution—of a nonpartisan military. Since 1947, only three men have obtained that waiver, George C. Marshall in 1950, U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis in 2016 and now Austin. Austin was commander of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2010 and...
    In a nearly unanimous vote, the Senate has confirmed retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. Austin’s nomination cleared the Senate by a vote of 93-2 — with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) as the only dissenters. The retired general will be the first Black Secretary of Defense in American history. The confirmation figured to be a formality after both houses of Congress approved a waiver allowing Austin to be named to the post. The waiver was necessary because it has been less than seven years since Austin last served in the military — a rule meant to keep the military under civilian control. “I understand and respect the reservations some of you have expressed about having another recently retired general at the head of the Department of Defense,” Austin said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday — referencing retired Gen. James Mattis,...
    WASHINGTON — Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin has been confirmed as President Biden’s Pentagon chief, becoming the first African American defense secretary and overcoming strong confirmation headwinds from both parties. The Senate on Friday overwhelming voted to confirm Austin, 93-2. Austin, a four-star general who retired in 2016, needed to obtain a waiver from Congress to override a law which says a defense secretary must wait seven years from active service to take the top civilian post. Lloyd Austin (left) retired from as an Army General in 2016.Pablo Martinez Monsivais – Pool / Getty Images Lawmakers had been wary about granting a second waiver after granting one to President Trump’s first defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, but eventually voted to confirm Austin. Filed under Department of Defense ,  joe biden ,  the pentagon ,  1/22/21
    (CNN) — El Senado de EE.UU. votó sobre una base abrumadoramente bipartidista para confirmar al secretario de Defensa del presidente Joe Biden, el general retirado Lloyd Austin. La votación fue 93-2. Austin, quien se jubiló en 2016, será el primer hombre negro en dirigir el Departamento. Tuvo que recibir una exención de una ley que requiere que un secretario de Defensa espere siete años después del servicio activo antes de aceptar el cargo. La Cámara aprobó la exención el jueves por la tarde, seguida de la aprobación de la medida por el Senado ese mismo día. MIRA: Los motivos por los que el Senado de EE.UU. demora la confirmación del nuevo gabinete La confirmación del secretario de Defensa le da a Biden otro jefe de departamento clave en su gabinete. El Senado confirmó al primer nominado al gabinete de Biden el miércoles por la noche, aprobando a la directora de...
    Loading the player... Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army’s elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation’s first Black secretary of defense. The 93-2 vote gave President Joe Biden his second Cabinet member; Avril Haines was confirmed on Wednesday as the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence. Biden is expected to win approval for others on his national security team in coming days, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Read More: House approves waiver for Biden Pentagon pick Lloyd Austin Biden is looking for Austin to restore stability atop the Pentagon, which went through two Senate-confirmed secretaries of defense and four who held the post on an interim basis during the Trump administration. Austin’s confirmation was complicated by his status as a recently retired general. He required a...
    WASHINGTON -- Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate who rose to the Army's elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, won Senate confirmation Friday to become the nation's first Black secretary of defense.The 93-2 vote gave President Joe Biden his second Cabinet member; Avril Haines was confirmed on Wednesday as the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence. Biden is expected to win approval for others on his national security team in coming days, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state.Biden is looking for Austin to restore stability atop the Pentagon, which went through two Senate-confirmed secretaries of defense and four who held the post on an interim basis during the Trump administration.Austin's confirmation was complicated by his status as a recently retired general. He required a waiver of a legal prohibition on a military officer serving as secretary of defense within seven...
    The Senate voted to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, making him President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed. Austin was confirmed by a bipartisan 93-2 vote and will be the first black person to serve in the role. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Utah Sen. Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against his confirmation. His nomination, however, required a waiver from both the House and Senate since he only retired in 2016, and the top defense post requires that anybody serving be retired for at least seven years to reaffirm the military’s civilian control. Austin’s waiver passed easily with bipartisan support, with 326 representatives and 69 senators voting for it. (RELATED: Some Lawmakers Come Out In Opposition To Austin Waiver) Congress underwent a similar process four years ago with Gen. James Mattis, President Donald Trump’s first nominee to lead the Department of...
    The Senate on Friday confirmed President Biden's Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a big bipartisan vote, marking the first time an African American will lead the Pentagon in U.S. history. The vote was 93-2. Austin is a former four-star Army general who served in the military for 41 years before retiring in 2016. He was the commander of the U.S. Central Command, where he helped lead the effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. LLOYD AUSTIN: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BIDEN'S CHOICE FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Biden built a close relationship with Austin during his vice presidency and said during a December news conference he tapped his friend because "there's no question that he is the right person for this job at the right moment." Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee backed Austin for the job. "I am very confident that Lloyd Austin will be a strong,...
    Retired General Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the next Secretary of Defense in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, January 19, 2021.Jim Lo Scalzo | Pool | Reuters WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as the next Pentagon chief Friday, making him the nation's first Black Defense secretary. The Senate voted 93 to 2. Austin's confirmation follows Wednesday's Senate confirmation of Avril Haines, who became the first woman to the lead nation's 18 intelligence agencies as the director of national intelligence. In back-to-back votes Thursday, the House and Senate passed legislation granting Austin, a retired four-star Army general, a waiver to lead the Pentagon. The Senate approved Austin's waiver by a vote of 69-27 and the House approved the waiver by a vote of 326 to 78. Under the National Security Act of 1947, Congress has prohibited any individual from...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon, making him nation’s first Black secretary of defense. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The retired four-star U.S. general nominated by President Biden to lead the Pentagon would become America’s first Black Secretary of Defense if confirmed Friday -- and will bring decades of military experience to the role.  Lloyd Austin, who retired from the Army in 2016 after 41 years of service, has had a long-standing relationship with Biden as he served as commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq during President Obama’s first term in office. But Austin’s path to Secretary of Defense has been met with opposition from within Biden’s own Democratic Party over concerns about installing a military figure in a position traditionally reserved for civilians.  "I know that being a member of the president’s Cabinet -- a political appointee -- requires a different perspective and unique duties from a career in uniform," Austin said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week, vowing his commitment to the principle of civilian control of the military.  Gen. Lloyd Austin III, then-commander of...
    WASHINGTON -- The Democratic-controlled Congress has easily passed legislation required to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden's secretary of defense, brushing aside concerns that his retirement occurred inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military.It would be the first measure to be signed into law by brand-new President Joe Biden.The Senate sent the measure exempting Austin from the seven-year rule to Biden on Thursday after a 69-27 Senate tally that came moments after a comparably lopsided 326-78 House vote. The back-to-back votes put Austin in position to be confirmed as secretary by Friday.Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, confirmed that the confirmation vote on Austin would be conducted Friday.Austin, a 41-year veteran of the Army, has promised to surround himself with qualified civilians and include them in policy decisions. He said he has spent nearly his entire life committed to the principle of civilian control over...
    (CNN)The Senate will hold a confirmation vote on Friday for President Joe Biden's defense secretary pick retired Gen. Lloyd Austin.Austin, who retired in 2016 and would be the first African American to run the department, 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.Thursday's votes green-lighting the waiver cleared the way for a final confirmation vote in the Senate.Confirmation of the defense secretary will give Biden another key department chief in place as congressional Democratic leaders attempt to move swiftly to confirm Cabinet members and other key officials following Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's first Cabinet nominee Wednesday evening, voting to approve his pick for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, on his first day in...
    A number of Senate Republicans on Thursday voted to approve a waiver to allow President Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, to serve in the position. The Senate voted 69-27 to pass the waiver to the law stipulating that a defense secretary must be more than seven years from serving in the military to hold that position, in order to preserve the principle of civilian control over the military. Austin retired from the military in 2016. Of the 27 that opposed the waiver, only 13 were Republicans. They included Sens. John Barrasso (WY), Marsha Blackburn (TN); Susan Collins (ME); Tom Cotton (AR); Josh Hawley (MO); Mike Lee (UT); Cynthia Lummis (WY); Sen. Roger Marshall (KS); Marco Rubio (FL); Ben Sasse (NE); Rick Scott (FL); Pat Toomey (PA); and Todd Young (IN). Surprisingly, more Democrats opposed the waiver. They included Sens. Tammy Baldwin (WI); Richard Blumenthal...
    Both the House and the Senate have now approved a waiver for retired General Lloyd Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense, clearing an important hurdle for one of President Joe Biden’s key Cabinet nominees. The waiver is required under federal law because it has been less than seven years since Austin retired from military service. The purpose of the restriction is to keep the military under civilian control, and Austin addressed the issue in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday. “I understand and respect the reservations some of you have expressed about having another recently retired general at the head of the Department of Defense,” said Austin. “The safety and security of our democracy demands competent civilian control of our armed forces, the subordination of military power to the civil.” The House voted to approve the waiver Thursday afternoon, followed shortly thereafter by the Senate. Austin retired...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate passes waiver for Biden Pentagon pick Lloyd Austin, clearing path to confirmation. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Loading the player... The Democratic-controlled House easily passed legislation required to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense, brushing aside concerns that his retirement occurred inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military. Thursday’s 326-78 vote would grant a waiver that would exempt Austin from the seven-year rule. All signs point to quick action in the Senate after that, putting Austin on track to be confirmed as secretary by week’s end. Read More: Defense secretary pick Lloyd Austin breezes through confirmation hearing Austin, a 41-year veteran of the Army, has promised to surround himself with qualified civilians and include them in policy decisions. He said he has spent nearly his entire life committed to the principle of civilian control over the military. While the waiver is expected to be approved, the vote puts some Democrats in a position to look like...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — House approves waiver for Biden Pentagon pick Lloyd Austin, moving him step closer to confirmation. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    President Biden's nominee for Secretary of Defense is expected to clear an important hurdle Thursday in his pathway to confirmation of the new cabinet. The House will vote to approve a waiver for Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin, a retired Army General, so he can serve in the civilian position.  Under the law, a retired service member must be out of the military for seven years in order to be named defense secretary. Austin retired from the Army after 41 years of service in 2016. BIDEN’S PICK FOR DEFENSE SECRETARY SUPPORTS OVERTURNING TRUMP’S MILITARY TRANSGENDER BAN The Senate must also approve the waiver and take a vote on his final confirmation. If approved, Austin would be the first Black secretary of defense. WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, prepares to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the ongoing U.S. military operations...
    (CNN)The House is expected to vote Thursday on a waiver to permit retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense in the Biden administration. Austin, who would be the first African American to run the department, needs to be granted a waiver from a law requiring a defense secretary to wait seven years after active-duty service before taking the job.CNN has previously reported that Austin, who retired in 2016, has been reaching out to top House and Senate lawmakers who will have to agree to pass legislation to grant the waiver, something approved only twice before in history, including for James Mattis to run President Donald Trump's Pentagon in 2017.BIDEN WHITE HOUSE Biden targets Trump's legacy with first-day executive actions Biden's inaugural address, annotated Inside Joe Biden's newly decorated Oval Office President Joe Biden's pick for defense secretary will, in effect, have to win two votes: one...
    President Joe Biden’s defense secretary Lloyd Austin said he supported overturning the Trump administration’s policy on transgender troops serving in the military during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. In response to a request by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to confirm his commitment to overturning the policy, Austin said: I support the president’s plan or plan to overturn the ban. I truly believe, Senator, that as I said in my opening statement, that if you’re fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve. And, you can expect that I will support that throughout. As previously reported by Breitbart News, the Trump administration’s policy prohibited transgender individuals with gender dysphoria to serve in the military, unless they were deemed stable for 36 months and willing to serve in their biological sex. The policy grandfathered in all transgender troops, including those with gender...
    Loading the player... Retired Army General Lloyd Austin would be the first Black man to serve as secretary of defense if confirmed this week, and that is expected to happen on Thursday.  At his confirmation hearing Tuesday, Austin spoke to the concerns of some lawmakers who will have to approve a waiver for him to lead the Defense Department.  Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin answers questions Tuesday during his Defense Secretary confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images) “Let me say at the outset that I understand and respect the reservations some of you have expressed about having another recently-retired general at the head of the Department of Defense,” Austin said. “The safety and security of our democracy demands competent civilian control of our armed forces, the subordination of military power to the civil.” ...
    Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for defense secretary, said Tuesday during his confirmation hearing that he would work to rid the military of “racists and extremists.” During his opening remarks, Lloyd Austin stated: We also owe our people a working environment free of discrimination, hate and harassment. If confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity. The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks. Democrats in recent days have sounded the alarm over the prospect of extremists in the military, after veterans and active-duty members of the military were identified attending a pro-Trump protest at the Capitol on January 6,...
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) announced Tuesday he will not support a waiver to allow President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, to serve in the position. Cotton made the announcement during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to vet Austin for the position. “Unfortunately I must announce that I oppose the waiver of the seven-year cooling-off period. My decision reflects not at all on you personally, or your record, which I respect. Rather, I believe Congress should no longer grant such waivers at all.” Before Austin, a retired four-star Army general could be allowed to serve in the defense secretary position, Congress would need to pass a waiver to the law that requires a defense secretary to be out of uniform for at least seven years. Austin retired from the military in 2016, just about four years ago. Congress waived that restriction for President Donald Trump’s first defense...
    General Lloyd Austin, President-Elect Joe Biden's nominee to be defense secretary, is testifying Tuesday in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the eve of Mr. Biden's inauguration. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin will be the first Black man to lead the Pentagon. Since Austin, a four-star general with four decades of service in the Army, retired from military service only four years ago, he will need a waiver from both the Senate and the House to enter the Cabinet. To obtain the waiver, Austin has agreed to testify in front of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday. How to watch Lloyd Austin's confirmation hearing today What: Biden Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Time: 3 p.m. ET Location: U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. Online stream: Live in the player above and on your mobile...
    15 former high-level defense officials, including three former Defense Secretaries, have signed a letter urging congress to waive a rule that would bar President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee from serving in that role.  Biden has selected retired four-star general Lloyd Austin to head his Department of Defense (DOD), but Austin is technically ineligible due to a rule barring recently-active military leaders from serving in the role of Defense Secretary. That is the rule the 15 letter signees would like to see congress waive, reports Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin.  Scoop: 15 former Defense Secretaries, Deputies and service secretaries sign letter urging waiver for Lloyd Austin to serve as Biden Defense Secretary: includes Panetta, Hagel, Perry pic.twitter.com/5WtpU419DJ — Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) January 18, 2021 Under federal law, a defense secretary must have been retired from active service for at least seven years before taking on the civilian role at the DOD. Austin...
    Amid mounting uncertainty among Democrats, three Pentagon leaders from Democratic administrations joined a letter calling on Congress to issue a waiver for President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee, recently retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, to serve as secretary of the Defense Department. Austin is not eligible to serve in this position without a waiver because his retirement from the Army after four decades of service just four years ago does not fall within the legal requirement that he be out of uniform for seven years. The three former Pentagon secretaries from the Obama and Clinton administrations are Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and William Perry. “The present circumstances surely represent an acute national crisis,” the letter stated. “Now more than ever, we need an experienced, competent, organized, and respected Secretary of Defense,” it continued. “Every day that we do not have a Secretary in place is a day that emboldens those who wish our...
    President-elect Joe Biden has made a wise choice in nominating retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to head the Defense Department. Austin has the background and the right mix of life experiences to enable him to be one of our best secretaries of defense. I hope the House and Senate swiftly approve a waiver to allow him to serve in the post (necessary because he retired from the Army less than seven years ago) and I hope the Senate goes on to confirm his nomination. Our next secretary of defense will face a challenging national security landscape: China, North Korea, Iran, Russia and cyberwar, to just to name just a few of the challenges. JAMES CARAFANO: DOES BIDEN PICK LLOYD AUSTIN HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN OUTSTANDING DEFENSE SECRETARY? There are also complex challenges facing our military community domestically, such as the alarming suicide rate among our service members....
    The Senate Armed Services Committee heard Tuesday about the “dangerous precedent” that could be made if President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of defense, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, receives a congressional exception to serve without waiting the required seven years since retirement. Chairman Jim Inhofe questioned if the military had become too politicized and if it is now necessary to halt Austin’s nomination not on merit but on preserving civilian control of the military. “After 40 years of successful military service, it would be natural and comfortable for Lloyd Austin to surround himself with previous military colleagues,” Inhofe said, highlighting a growing concern that civilian voices will be silenced at the Pentagon and military leaders will become increasingly partisan. Inhofe and other senators and witnesses quoted from the 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission report that read: "Decision-making is drifting away from civilian leaders on issues of national importance.” Expert witness...
    The Senate is set to consider Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's pick for treasury secretary, next week. The Senate Finance Committee is working to host a hearing on Biden's nomination of Yellen to head the Treasury Department on Tuesday, one day before the incoming president's inauguration, a Senate aide told the Washington Examiner. The aide described next Tuesday as the panel's "target date," pending a committee notice. If confirmed, Yellen, 74, will be the country's first woman to hold the post. Yellen's hearing has been scheduled on the same day as one for Biden's secretary of defense-designate Lloyd Austin before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Austin's nomination, though, won't be as straightforward as Yellen's, with the former Federal Reserve chairwoman earning praise from far-Left Democrats as well as Republicans. Congress also needs to approve a waiver for Austin if he is to take his place atop the Pentagon. U.S....
    More On: joe biden Biden will invoke wartime act to ramp up COVID vaccine production, adviser says Millions of Americans lose unemployment benefits as COVID-19 bill stalls Lobbyist brother of top Biden aide reportedly lands big contracts Biden urges Trump to sign COVID relief bill The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee expressed his concern Monday with President-elect Biden’s defense secretary pick needing a waiver. Speaking with MSNBC, Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) made the revelation after being asked if he worried about Congress not supporting a waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin. “Yes, I do,” the Washington Democrat said, pointing to GOP opposition first, “We’ve had several Republicans come out and say even though they supported the waiver for [retired Gen. Jim] Mattis, they won’t support the waiver for Lloyd Austin. I think that’s questionable.” Smith then pivoted his attention to Democrats, who will...
    More On: joe biden Biden formally announces education secretary nominee GOP senators try to block Biden from re-entering Paris, Iran deals Twitter to reset WH account followers to zero when Biden takes office Team Biden’s backward hostility to charter schools ​A number of House Democrats want President-elect Joe Biden’s Defense Secretary nominee to commit to ensuring civilian control of the military as the retired Army general seeks an exemption to take the post, according to a report. The law requires secretaries of Defense to be out of the military for at least seven years, but Lloyd Austin retired four years ago, meaning he would need a waiver from Congress to take the job. “We have tremendous respect for your experience, your talent, and your service to our nation. We are grateful for your willingness to continue that service. And we recognize the truly historic nature of your nomination, especially...
    Loading the player... As President-elect Joe Biden‘s nominee for Defense Secretary, Gen. Lloyd Austin, faces a challenge to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the NAACP and other prominent Black organizations are publicly throwing their support for his nomination. Austin, a retired four-star Army general, has already achieved a historic mark as the first Black commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). He could make history yet again, with President-elect Biden’s naming Austin as a nominee for Secretary of Defense. Several Black organizations are urging Congress to approve a process that would help push the nomination forward. Read More: Democrats attempt to put Pentagon waiver for Lloyd Austin in funding bill Austin, 67, has worked previously with President Barack Obama’s administration as CENTCOM’s director, leaving the post after his retirement in March 2016. Previously, Austin served as the  Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (VCSA),...
    Loading the player... Gen. Lloyd Austin could potentially be the first Black Defense secretary, but there is a significant hurdle standing in his way. The formal general, who retired in 2016, needs a waiver because he has not been out of uniform for seven years as required. While part of Congress is on board with granting him the waiver, others aren’t sure. Democrats are trying to add the waiver to a year-end government funding bill that needs to pass tonight, per Axios. Read More: Tuskegee Airmen letter throws support to Biden’s Defense nominee Gen. Lloyd Austin Sources tell the publication if the bill passes, Austin still needs a win from the Senate majority. But during negotiations on Thursday, Democrats pointed out that in 2016, Congress pushed through a waiver for President Donald Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis. It ultimately passed in 2017. Luckily for Austin, he does have support on...
    There was collective shock among many Democrats when exit polls found that 18 percent of Black men supported Donald ‎Trump's 2020 presidential campaign. In a year filled with racial unrest, many wondered why. Well, we've recently gotten a powerful answer to that question in the form of some leading Democrats’ treatment of General Lloyd Austin. Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently joined fellow senators Jon Tester and Richard Blumenthal in opposing Austin’s quest to become the country’s first African American secretary of defense. Their opposition is rooted in the fact that a defense secretary must be retired from active military service for at least seven years. Austin retired in 2016. An exception can be made if Congress grants a waiver. Warren, Tester, and Blumenthal have declined to do so, all issuing generic platitudes about how much they admire Gen. Austin, but apparently not enough to empower him to make history. Supporting...
    Some liberals are still brooding that President-elect Joe Biden tapped a military man in retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee for secretary of the Department of Defense. Chief among their concerns is that, if confirmed, Austin will go down the same failed path as a predecessor and surround himself with former and active members of the military. “Nominating a recently retired general officer is a threat to our democracy,” Alexander McCoy, political director of the progressive veterans’ group Common Defense, told the Washington Examiner. “It is a dangerous politicization of the military.” The 180,000-member group communicated its “red line” to the Biden transition team that it would oppose a retired general. “If your only experience is serving 41 years in the military and serving on the board of a major defense corporation, then most of your network is going to consist of fellow military officers or executives and board...
    On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks expressed concern over Joe Biden’s Defense Secretary pick, retired General Lloyd Austin, and said that there’s no need to risk contradicting the principle that the secretary of defense should “have distance from the current military brass.” Brooks said, “I also share some of the concerns with Lloyd Austin, not for anything having to do with Lloyd Austin and his performance. But there’s a reason we have this rule, this tradition, and also a rule, that you don’t have generals switching right over to the defense secretary. It’s about civilian control. It’s about picking people who have distance from the current military brass. And that is a very solid and sensible rule. And in the Jim Mattis case, where we also had to get an exemption, that struck me as an extreme circumstance where getting Jim Mattis in there was so important, it...
    (CNN)When I saw the headlines last week that President-elect Joe Biden was considering a retired general to lead the Department of Defense, my first response was, "Haven't we already had too many general officers serving in key government positions over the last few years?" Mark HertlingSurely, I thought, the incoming administration would nominate a qualified civilian candidate after President Donald Trump filled several key cabinet positions with former military officers he referred to as "my generals." Trump often disregarded their advice on myriad issues and tainted the honored tenet of military officers being non-partisan. To add insult to injury, nearly all of these generals would eventually resign or be forced out after they were drawn into Trump's chaotic leadership style, which only stoked distrust in the military as an institution.But when Biden announced his plan to nominate retired General Lloyd Austin this week, my initial skepticism faded. I began...
    Joe Biden picked a Defense Department chief he knows he can trust, so naturally the left is whining. Yet Lloyd Austin is clearly qualified and would also make history as the first African American in the role. Gen. Austin, 67, was the first black head of US Central Command, responsible for America’s troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Then he was the Army vice chief of staff before retiring in 2016 as a four-star general after 41 years of service. Since he’s only been retired four years, he’ll need a congressional waiver: US law requires the defense secretary to be out of the military for seven years. The only two waivers yet granted went to real giants: Gen. Jim Mattis in 2017 and Gen. George Marshall in 1950. Progressives’ other gripe is that in retirement Austin joined the board of Raytheon, a big Pentagon contractor, which has generated lots...
    The year was 2015. Lloyd Austin was the four-star Army general in charge of the U.S. Central Command with responsibility for Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. For more than a year, ISIS rampaged across Syria and Iraq, and the Pentagon plan that Austin was implementing to reverse its advance was sputtering on all fronts. Now, the combatant commander, called by some "the invisible general" for his reticence for speaking in public, was in the hot seat, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee and getting grilled by Chairman John McCain. He was becoming more lathered up as Austin struggled to defend a strategy to counter ISIS that reeked of failure. "Ladies and gentlemen, with respect to the ongoing operations in Iraq and Syria, despite some slow movement at the tactical level, we continue to make progress across the battlespace," Austin said in his opening statement. McCain was stunned with disbelief. "I...
    More On: joe biden Greenwald: Don’t forget media, Big Tech ‘suppressed’ The Post’s Hunter Biden exposé Not Just Hunter: Feds also probing Joe Biden’s brother Biden said ‘Defund the police’ hurt Dem candidates in election These are the 4 finalists for Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ President-elect Joe Biden’s beleaguered defense secretary pick Lloyd Austin is facing new scrutiny for his role on the board of steel company Nucor due to potential conflicts of interest with the firm’s clients. The retired four-star general’s nomination is in turmoil primarily due to a Democratic revolt in favor of a law requiring a seven-year wait before military chiefs lead the Pentagon. Austin, 67, retired as a four-star Army general in 2016. At least four Senate Democrats say they won’t grant Austin a waiver from the law that aims to preserve civilian control over the military. His business links also are emerging...
    The Tuskegee Airmen have come out in support of Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden‘s nominee to serve as the 28th Secretary of Defense, amid expressed opposition from some U.S. Senators who have signaled they would not support his nomination. In a letter provided exclusively to theGrio, the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. national office expressed their support for Austin, a retired four-star Army general who served 41 years in the armed forces before his retirement in 2016. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Gen. Lloyd would become the first Black American to serve as the nation’s defense secretary. Read More: Biden selects retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense U.S. Army (retired) General Lloyd Austin speaks after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (R) and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced Austin as their choice to be Secretary of the Department of Defense at the Queen Theater December 09,...
    President-elect Joe Biden opposes using executive authority on a laundry list of policy items which his “progressive friends” are pressuring him to act on, leaked audio shows. Biden’s comments came during a Tuesday zoom meeting with a group of civil rights leaders. The Intercept’s Deconstructed podcast published audio of the closed press conference call Thursday morning. LISTEN:  “So there’s some things that I’m going to be able to do by executive order,” Biden says on the recording. “I’m not going to hesitate to do it, but what I’m not going to do is… when you’d have some of the people you were supporting saying, ‘On Day One I’m gonna have an executive order to do this!’ Not within the constitutional authority.” (RELATED: Biden To Campaign In Georgia On Tuesday As Early Voting Kicks Off In Senate Runoffs) “I am not going to violate the Constitution, he continued. “Executive authority...
    More On: joe biden Elizabeth Warren is third Democrat to oppose waiver for Biden defense secretary Sanders surrogate weighing run for House seat in Ohio Where is the great leader that will take NYC to new heights?: Goodwin Joe Biden chooses Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to be HUD secretary President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday repeated his calls for Congress to swiftly confirm retired four-star Gen. Lloyd Austin as his Pentagon chief, appealing to his own party as much as Republicans amid concern that the pick has not been out of the military long enough. At a press conference in Wilmington, Del., Biden praised Austin, a former commander of American forces in Iraq before his 2016 retirement, touting him as “a leader of extraordinary courage, character, experience and accomplishment.” “Someone with whom I have worked closely for many years and I’ve seen perform to the highest standards under intense pressure,” Biden said....
    President-elect Joe Biden and his pick for defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, on Wednesday said the retired Army general would honor the fundamental principle of civilian control over the military despite widespread concern about laws that prohibit him from serving. [ READ: The Dangers of Trump’s DOD Shake-Up ]"There's a good reason for this law I fully understand and respect," Biden said in introducing Austin, citing legal prohibitions to a secretary of defense having served in uniform within seven years of assuming that role. "I would not be asking for the exception if I did not believe this moment in our history didn't call for it. It does call for it." Biden praised the former corps commander who ultimately oversaw all operations in the Middle East – including the Obama administration's withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and return three years later following the rise of the Islamic State group. He said Austin,...
    Responding to criticism from fellow Democrats over his decision to name a recently retired general to lead the Defense Department, President-elect Joe Biden is defending his choice of retired four-star Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary in his upcoming administration. “There’s no doubt in my mind – not any doubt whatsoever – whether this nominee will honor and respect and on a day-to-day basis breathe life into the preeminent principal of civilian leadership over military matters in our nation,” Biden said Wednesday as he introduced his nominee for Defense secretary. BIDEN'S DEFENSE SECRETARY PICK COULD MAKE FOR STRANGE BEDFELLOWS IN CONFIRMATION FIGHT And Austin, who if confirmed by the Senate would make history as the first Black Defense secretary, spotlighted his “deep appreciation and reverence for the prevailing wisdom of civilian control of our military." He added: "I intend to keep this at the forefront of my mind.” President-elect Joe...
    President-elect Joe Biden formally unveiled his nominee to be Defense secretary as several Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren, said  they won't vote for a congressional waiver that would let retired General Lloyd Austin serve in the post. The lawmakers are citing concern about maintaining the tradition of a civilian-controlled military and the early opposition indicates a rocky confirmation process lies ahead for Austin, who would be the first black defense secretary if confirmed.  Austin, dressed in a navy blue business suit, addressed the lawmakers' concern in his remarks. 'I come to this role now as a civilian leader — with military experience to be sure — but also with a deep appreciation and reverence for the prevailing wisdom of civilian control of our military. I recognize that being a member of the president’s cabinet requires a different perspective and unique responsibilities from a career in uniform,' the retired four-star Army general...
    Former Vice President Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary is running into opposition from members of his own party who will need to vote on whether to confirm him. Biden announced Tuesday in an Atlantic piece he was planning, if he takes office, to nominate Army Gen. (Ret.) Lloyd Austin for the position, who if confirmed would be the first black defense secretary. However, since by law a retired officer needs to have been out of the military for seven years before serving as defense secretary, Biden needs Congress to waive the law for him as they did with President Donald Trump’s former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The law exists in order to uphold the principle of civilian versus military leadership of the Pentagon, and Democrats criticized Trump for appointing a general to the position. Seventeen Senate Democrats voted against granting Mattis a waiver, and some of those Democrats now...
    In his first public remarks since being tapped by President-elect Joe Biden’s as the nominee for secretary of the Department of Defense, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin began the work of convincing Congress to grant him an exception to serve without fulfilling the required seven years out of uniform. “I come to this new role as a civilian leader with military experience,” Austin said during his Wilmington, Delaware, introduction. “I look forward to surrounding myself with experienced, capable civilian appointees and career civil servants who will enable healthy civil-military relations grounded in meaningful civilian oversight,” he added. As vice president, Biden worked closely with Austin when he led U.S. Central Command and wound down Operation Iraqi Freedom, drawing down 135,000 troops from Iraq. The president-elect said he would call on Austin to do the same as secretary and end the “forever wars.” News National Security Department of Defense Pentagon Joe...
    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Joe Biden's nomination of retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense has put some Senate Democrats in a bind. In the past, they've opposed naming recently retired military officers to the post, yet they don't want to be seen as blocking the first African American to lead the Pentagon.Congress waived a law prohibiting the appointment of such officers in confirming President Donald Trump's choice for the post, retired U.S. Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, in 2017. But that came over the objections of some Democrats, who may now have to reverse themselves to back Austin, who served 41 years in the Army and retired in 2016.Sticking to their past stands would mean defying a president from their own party just as he takes office. In announcing Austin's pick, Biden said he hoped the Senate would grant Austin the same waiver it did Mattis.Introducing Austin Wednesday...
    Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the ongoing U.S. military operations to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 16, 2015 in Washington, DC.Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden formally announced on Wednesday retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as his pick to be the 28th secretary of Defense. "We must prepare to meet the challenges for the future, not just keep fighting wars of the past, we must build a foreign policy to lead with diplomacy, revitalizes the State Department, revitalizes our alliance, putting American leadership back at the table and rallying the world to meet global threats," Biden said. "From pandemics to climate change, from nuclear proliferation to the refugee crisis ... Lloyd Austin knows how to...
    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Joe Biden made his case for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense, urging Congress to waive a legal prohibition against a recently serving military officer running the Pentagon.With concern rising in Congress about eroding civilian control of the military, Biden on Tuesday suggested he felt a need to counter an emerging narrative that Austin's nomination blurs the lines between civil and military roles."Given the immense and urgent threats and challenges our nation faces, he should be confirmed swiftly," Biden wrote in The Atlantic. It was his first public confirmation that Austin is his pick for Pentagon chief, although word had leaked out Monday, prompting criticism and skepticism from some in Congress.Skeptics of the wisdom of granting a waiver to allow Austin to lead the Pentagon include Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank.Schake...
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