By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, December 2, 2016, US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said that he is looking forward to working with General Mattis. issued the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as the next Secretary of Defense.
Rep. Byrne said: “General Mattis has a clear record of serving our nation with steadfast leadership, unwavering integrity, and selfless dedication. He has shown both a great appreciation for the true toils of conflict and the clear ability to defeat an enemy. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I look forward to working with him to rebuild our military and defeat radical Islamic extremism.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) wrote in his own statement commending President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense: “General Mattis is exactly the right choice to lead the Pentagon after eight years of fecklessness under President Obama. With this selection, it’s clear President-elect Trump is serious about rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS, and keeping Americans safe. I applaud this decision, and look forward to working with General Mattis and the Trump administration to restore American leadership at home and abroad.”
Under current law, the Secretary of Defense has to have been retired from the armed forces for at least seven years to serve and Gen. Mattis has only been retired for three. Congress will have to pass a waiver of the law for Mattis to be confirmed; though some legal scholars are arguing that the seven year requirement is unconstitutional. The last time that the Congress granted such a waiver was 1950 when President Harry S. Truman (D0 appointed General George C. Marshall as Sec. of Defense. There is nothing in the law preventing Pres-elect Trump from appointing whomever he wants to appoint. It is hard to imagine how the waiver not passing the Republican controlled US House of Representatives and the Senate already has confirmation powers over any cabinet appointment.
Rep. Bradley Byrne is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He represents Alabama’s First Congressional District and was recently elected.
(Original reporting by Fox News and National Review contributed to this report)