Congress poised for quick action on Biden’s Pentagon nominee

What Biden’s Cabinet Picks Say About How He Plans To Govern
Susan Walsh

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Defense Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Biden the first bill that he’ll sign into law, a measure to allow retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defense.

Both the House and Senate on Thursday easily passed a waiver that would allow Austin to hold the position, clearing the way for him to be confirmed as defense secretary by week’s end. The action on Austin’s nomination comes despite bipartisan concerns about preserving civilian control of the military.

Lawmakers had to approve a waiver for Austin because he retired from the service within the last seven years. He would be the first Black secretary of defense in U.S. history.