Senate confirms Mattis as President Donald Trump's defense secretary

| Updated: Jan 21, 2017 10:53 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Jan. 21 (ANI): Retired Marine General James N. Mattis's name has been approved by the Senate as President Donald Trump's defense secretary. The Senate confirmed Mattis, a recently retired general, for the Pentagon's top post after lawmakers voted 98-1 in favor of Mattis, with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as the lone senator opposing him. Earlier, President Trump cleared the way for his defense secretary by signing a bill passed by Congress earlier this month waiving the legal requirement that he be out of the military for seven years before doing so. Mattis will lead the Defense Department's 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists, reports The Washington Post. He would also oversee a budget of more than USD 580 billion as Trump prepares to expand the military. Mattis has become the first senior military officer to serve as defense secretary after Army General George C. Marshall, who was nominated for the same post by President Truman in 1950. He has previously served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia. Congress had passed a legislation to amend a law that banned recent veterans from the position to allow Mattis become defense secretary. (ANI)