January 12, 2017 / 9:15 PM / a year ago

U.S. House panel narrowly backs Mattis waiver

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee narrowly backed a waiver on Thursday that would allow James Mattis to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of defense, despite having retired as a Marine general in 2013.

The panel voted 34 to 28, along party lines, for a 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. Committee Democrats opposed the measure after Trump’s transition team cancelled Mattis’ appearance at a committee hearing.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Tom Brown

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