Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is apparently not convinced that Gen. James Mattis is the best person to lead the department of defense when Donald Trump assumes the presidency. In a newly released interview with New York Magazine, Reid said Congress should not try to remove the legal obstacles in Mattis' way.
Mattis is only four years retired from the military, meaning he needs a waiver from Congress to serve in the Trump administration because he does not meet the seven years' requirement. Reid's advice: Punt the decision to the next Congress.
“The waiver should not be granted in this Congress,” he told a staffer.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand shares Reid's sentiments. She plans to vote against the waiver, she argues, in order to respect civilian control of the military. Yet, Matt questioned her logic, noting Gillibrand probably would not have stonewalled the defense nominee if he was Hillary Clinton's choice.
Ironically, it is the "Reid Rule" that may end up working in Trump's favor. Many Democrats are regretting their decision in 2013 to make it more difficult to filibuster presidential nominees. The "Reid Rule" essentially eliminated any kind of emergency "speed bump" to prevent unfit candidates from serving, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) admitted.
Of course, Gen. Mattis is anything but unfit.