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Paul Ryan: Gen. James Mattis, Donald Trump’s pick to head Pentagon, is ‘exception worthy’

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that lawmakers should find a way around a ban on recently retired military officers serving as Defense secretary in order to accommodate retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis.

“A lot of us know Jim Mattis quite well — he is so revered. He is exception worthy to the waiver rule. He’s within the seven-year window,” Mr. Ryan said on CNBC.

Gen. Mattis is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Pentagon chief. However, he left the military in 2013 and is still in the window of a law saying seven years have to pass before retired officers can serve as Defense secretary.

House Republicans included language in a short-term spending bill this week intended to streamline his nomination process.

Mr. Ryan said the language would allow lawmakers to move on the nomination “fairly quickly” in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Trump said Tuesday there would be a lot of “angry people” if lawmakers couldn’t find a way to work things out and allow Gen. Mattis to serve.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, said this week that rushing a debate on civilian control of the military would set a bad precedent.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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