WASHINGTON Jan 12 The U.S. Senate
overwhelmingly backed a waiver on Thursday that will allow James
Mattis to serve as President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of
defense, despite having retired as a Marine General in 2013.
The Senate voted 81 to 17 for a one-time waiver of a
provision of a law on civilian control of the U.S. military
requiring a seven-year wait before active-duty military can lead
the Department of Defense.
The waiver must still be approved by the House of
Representatives Armed Services Committee and full House, and
signed into law by the president, to allow Mattis to serve if he
is confirmed to lead the Pentagon.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio)