Friday, Feb 26, 2021 - 23:23:17
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Black secretary of defense:

    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 -- 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...
    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.
    President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet and other senior staffing choices have been complicated by the competing demands for representation by the various groups inside the Democratic coalition, often breaking down along the lines of race, ethnicity, or gender. Biden’s pick for secretary of veterans affairs isn’t a veteran. His choice for secretary of agriculture isn’t black, as some civil rights activists and African American farmers groups had hoped. His intention to appoint the first black secretary of defense came at the expense of nominating the first woman to this post. That nominee is also facing scrutiny precisely because of his veteran status — only five years removed from being a general, he would need a congressional waiver to helm the Pentagon as a civilian, and some liberals are reluctant to give him one. The competing demands may stem in part from the perception that the aging veteran deal-maker may be more...
    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...
    (CNN)President-elect Joe Biden has named retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as his nominee for secretary of defense, the Biden transition team announced Tuesday.The former commander of the US Central Command would make history as the first Black person to lead the Pentagon if confirmed by the US Senate. "Today, I ask Lloyd Austin to once more take on a mission for the United States of America--this time as the secretary-designate of the Department of Defense. I know he will do an outstanding job," Biden wrote in an op-ed published by The Atlantic on Tuesday. "In his more than 40 years in the United States Army, Austin met every challenge with extraordinary skill and profound personal decency. He is a true and tested soldier and leader. I've spent countless hours with him, in the field and in the White House Situation Room."Biden Transition 'Amtrak Joe' could arrive for his inauguration...
    By STEVE PEOPLES and ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is facing escalating pressure from competing factions within his own party as he finalizes his choice for secretary of defense. Black leaders have encouraged the incoming president to select an African American to diversify what has so far been a largely white prospective Cabinet, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to lead the Department of Defense for the first time. At the same time, a growing collection of progressive groups is opposing the leading female contender, Michèle Flournoy, citing concerns about her record and private-sector associations. A coalition of at least seven progressive groups warned Biden to avoid Flournoy in an open letter to Biden obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press that referenced her record of “ill-advised policy decisions” — particularly in relation to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan — and an “opaque...
    WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden is facing escalating pressure from competing factions within his own party as he finalizes his choice for secretary of defense. Black leaders have encouraged the incoming president to select an African American to diversify what has so far been a largely white prospective Cabinet, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to lead the Department of Defense for the first time. At the same time, a growing collection of progressive groups is opposing the leading female contender, Michèle Flournoy, citing concerns about her record and private-sector associations. A coalition of at least seven progressive groups warned Biden to avoid Flournoy in an open letter to Biden obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press that referenced her record of “ill-advised policy decisions” — particularly in relation to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan — and an “opaque history of private-sector activity.” “Ms. Flournoy’s consistent support...
    President Donald Trump is poised to award the first Medal of Honor to a black veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) announced Friday that he, along with Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), received a letter from Pentagon Secretary Mark Esper agreeing that Cashe deserves to have his Silver Star upgraded to the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest combat award for valor for his heroism in October 2005. Cashe was deployed to Iraq in 2005 when his fighting vehicle hit an improvised explosive device and caught fire. Cashe escaped the vehicle but returned repeated times to pull soldiers out of the flames, while he himself caught on fire and was exposed to enemy gunfire. Cashe later died of his wounds. Veterans on the right and the left have long pushed for his Silver Star to be...
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