Democrats Tried to 'QB Sneak' a Waiver for Biden's Defense Secretary Pick into Spending Bill

Posted: Dec 21, 2020 1:20 PM
Democrats Tried to 'QB Sneak' a Waiver for Biden's Defense Secretary Pick into Spending Bill

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

You can’t trust them. You can't trust the Democrats. We all know this. If you give them an inch, they take a mile. We've all seen this movie. So, as the government was on the verge of a shutdown, they tried to get a little sneaky regarding Joe Biden's secretary of defense pick. They tried to sneak a waiver into the spending bill, whose text has, as of this post being written at 12:07 PM, not been released. It's a $900 billion-dollar spending bill that saw both sides duking it out over minutiae that should infuriate the American people. The haggling over what are rounding errors in federal budgeting was insane. At the same time, now that the 2020 election is over, Nancy Pelosi—who admitted she torpedoed COVID relief payments for political reasons—now wants to give families who suffered economic devastation for months some money. Too late, lady. Democrats enjoyed screwing over millions of people to better their chances of winning a national election. And there will be no accountability, the large shade cast by the liberal news media offers plenty of protection. Yet, this bill is huge, with many cracks and crevices to hide things—like a waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, Biden's pick to run the Pentagon (via Axios):

Democrats are trying to tuck a waiver allowing retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as President-elect Joe Biden's defense secretary into a year-end government funding bill that must pass by tonight to avoid a shutdown, three sources familiar with the push tell Axios.

Attaching the waiver to the omnibus would give political cover to some Democrats, including at least four on the Senate Armed Services Committee who have already gone on record opposing it.

Austin, a four-star Army general who retired in 2016, has not yet been out of uniform for seven years as required by law.

If the move succeeds, Austin still would need to win confirmed from a Senate majority, but this would clear a hurdle that has complicated his prospects.

At a glance, Austin has the resumé to run the Pentagon. In fact, of all of Biden's picks, he's one of the more uncontroversial ones. He'll be the first Black defense secretary if confirmed. Before retiring, he was commander for CENTCOM. There are no real issues, except for the fact that he hasn't been retired for seven years, which is the length of time that any member of the military must be out of uniform in order to run the Department of Defense. It's arbitrary, but he'll be confirmed.

A Cabinency of Dunces
Victor Davis Hanson

Axios added that Republicans are willing to grant Mr. Austin a waiver. We've been here before when President Trump nominated General James Mattis to be his defense secretary. All they want is to give Mr. Austin his pass by holding a hearing, a committee vote, and a floor vote. As for Democrats, well, they're in more of a bind. Some members were quite vocal in opposing the Mattis waiver, citing the principle of having a civilian-run military as key to protecting our government, etc., who now probably have to oppose this Biden nominee. They have to—there's no wiggle room here. Then again, Democrats are shameless.