US President-Elect, Joe Biden is still basking in the goodwill of many Americans after defeating the incumbent President, Donald Trump, in the just concluded presidential election.
Although, there is still controversy over the election, many people have moved on as all eyes are now on January 20, 2021 when Biden of the Democratic party will be sworn in as the 46th President of the US while Trump of the Republican party is expected to vacate the White House the same day except if the court rules otherwise.
Biden has been making some moves after winning the election and those moves enjoyed the acceptance of the American people. But, there is one major hurdle Biden is facing now. This particular move is facing serious opposition by the US government officials especially members of the US Congress.
Biden’s big request that the US may reject ahead of his hand over
Biden made one big request that the US may reject. In fact, Biden knows that the request is an uncommon one and he is pleading with the Congress and other US officials to see reasons with him to grant that request. Alas! All these persuasions by Biden seem to be ineffective going by what some Congressmen have said so far.
The big request by Biden is for the confirmation his appointment of retired General Lloyd Austin as the US Defense Secretary. Biden appointed Austin as the US Defense Secretary but there are several opposition against that appointment. Biden has tried to plead and persuade the US Congress to see reasons with him to confirm Austin’s appointment. According to Biden who spoke in Delaware yesterday about the issue, Austin who is the best man fit for the job is the definition of duty, honour and country. Biden went on to appeal to the US Senate to confirm Austin’s appointment.
Major reason why Austin is facing serious hurdle that may stop his confirmation
There could be other reasons why Austin is facing serious hurdle to have his appointment confirmed. But the one Biden himself referred to is the fact that Austin left the US military less than seven years ago. That is a major obstacle in his way. Biden knows this too and has been trying to get a waiver for Austin.
According to the US law, anyone to head the department should have left the US military at least seven years before his/her appointment as Defense Secretary. However, in the case of Austin, he was the head of the US Central Command that covered the Middle East between 2010 and 2016. That means Austin left the US barely four years ago. That is the major setback for him to be confirmed since it is less than seven years that he retired.
Getting Austin confirmed: Will It work for Biden?
In the midst of all these, Austin may be lucky to get confirmed. This is because Biden wants him to occupy the post and the President-Elect is defending him with all he can so that he can be confirmed. Biden had worked with Austin before when he visited Iraq as the Vice President. He sees Austin as a very competent and committed person who will perform excellently at the job.
Biden also reminded the Senate that they could grant a waiver to Austin and confirm him still as was done to Jim Matis when he was appointed by Trump in 2017. That gives a ray of hope that Biden may have his way if he gets the majority of the Senators to vote in favour of granting waiver to Austin.
However, the opposition is serious as some Senators who are fellow Democrats like Biden including senators Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth and Jon Tester fellow made it clear that they would oppose Austin’s confirmation by voting against the waiver. Do you think Biden will succeed in getting Austin confirmed in the coming days?