Durbin Votes to Grant Waiver for General Lloyd Austin, President Biden's Nominee for Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after voting to grant a waiver to General Lloyd Austin, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Secretary of Defense.  Once confirmed, General Austin will be the first African American Defense Secretary.

“The law requires former military nominees to wait seven years before being eligible to be Secretary of Defense, out of concern that military service does not by itself provide the breadth of necessary experience.  At his confirmation hearing, General Austin addressed these concerns and pledged ‘the subordination of military power to the civil.’  I take him at his word. 

“The internal security threat the U.S. faces right now is serious.  We need a Secretary of Defense on the job right away.  General Austin is a patriot, statesman, and has served our country with honor and dignity.  I believe he has the experience needed to lead our national defense effort.”