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Published On: Fri, Jan 20th, 2017

Senate confirms Gen James Mattis, Gen John Kelly for Trump cabinet

As President Trump went down the parade route today in Washington DC, the Senate confirmed the first two members of Trump’s cabinet: Gen. James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and Gen. John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Mattis was approved by a vote of 98-1. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was the lone vote against. Kelly was approved 88-11. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., did not vote on either Kelly or Mattis. Sessions has been nominated to be Attorney General.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also tried to begin debate on Rep. Mike Pompeo’s nomination as CIA Director following the Mattis and Kelly votes, but Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., objected.

Instead, the Senate was set to begin the Pompeo debate on Monday.

photo/ Mary Pahlke via pixabay

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chastised Democrats for refusing to consider confirmation of more of Trump’s nominees. McCain said the only difference between 2009 and 2017 is that now “we’ve got a world on fire,” citing Syrian refugees and Russia’s aggressive actions.

“We need a new Director of the CIA more than ever,” McCain said.

The Senate approved seven of former President Obama’s Cabinet nominees on the first day of his administration in 2009.

“I am pleased by the confirmation votes of Generals Mattis and Kelly,” Trump said in a statement. “These uniquely qualified leaders will immediately begin the important work of rebuilding our military, defending our nation and securing our borders. I am proud to have these two American heroes join my administration.

“I call on members of the Senate to fulfill their constitutional obligation and swiftly confirm the remainder of my highly qualified cabinet nominees, so that we can get to work on behalf of the American people without further delay.”

During the signing ceremony, Trump joked with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer about Pompeo’s confirmation.

“Mike Pompeo. Great. They tell me he’s going to be approved momentarily, but you never know with this place,” Trump said.

Schumer retorted: “Depends how you define momentarily — soon.”

photo/ Pete Linforth via pixabay

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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