Senate confirms Lloyd Austin for secretary of defense

On January 22, 2021, the Senate confirmed retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense by a vote of 93-2. He will be the first Black secretary to lead the Department of Defense and the second member of President Joe Biden’s (D) Cabinet to be confirmed.

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were the only votes against Austin’s confirmation.

On January 21, the House and Senate approved the waiver to allow Austin to serve before a seven-year cooldown period for former active service members. The House approved the waiver by a vote of 326-78 and the Senate by a vote of 69-27.

This was the third time a general was granted this waiver following Gens. Jim Mattis and George Marshall.