Only one senator voted “no” on the confirmation of Gen. James Mattis as the next secretary of defense.
The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed the popular retired Marine Corps general Friday, following the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, 98-1. New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the sole no vote.
Mattis is the first member of Trump’s cabinet to be confirmed. His approval process required the extra step of a special waiver from Congress because he has not been out of the military for the required seven years.
Gillibrand criticized Trump’s decision to nominate the popular general early on over concerns about maintaining civilian control of the military, and her spokesman Marc Brumer told The Daily Caller News Foundation Friday those concerns were behind her no vote. “She believes civilian control of the military is fundamental,” he said.
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions did not vote.