CR Contains Provision to Speed Mattis Confirmation

The proposed continuing resolution released Tuesday evening contains a provision intended to accelerate the confirmation process for James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, forcing Democrats who have expressed concerns about the recently retired general’s nomination to choose between an easy road for Trump’s nominee and a possible government shutdown. Specifically, the proposed CR provides a “limited exception” to Senate confirmation procedures. Current law stipulates that a military member must be retired from Active Duty for seven years before serving in the role of Defense Secretary. Mattis is a former Marine Corp general who retired in 2013, and his confirmation would require the approval of a waiver in the Senate. The CR provision would limit Senate debate on Mattis’ confirmation to no more than 10 hours, require a vote directly after the completion of debate, and require confirmation by a three-fifths vote instead of a simple majority. Trump announced his decision to nominate Mattis on Dec. 2.