Democrats Pin Hopes on Mattis to Check Trump on War and Peace by Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb, Politico
James Mattis is the one Donald Trump Cabinet pick whom Democrats could unilaterally block. Instead, they made clear Thursday their resounding support for the retired Marine Corps general, touting him as their best hope for reining in a president-elect who has unorthodox views on matters of war and peace.
Mattis sailed through his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, fielding mostly gentle questions and easily sidestepping the few attempts by senators to trip him up.
Immediately after the session, which lasted just over three hours, the panel voted to exempt Mattis from a law barring military officers from serving as defense secretary until they’ve been out of uniform seven years.
The full House and Senate are expected to approve the measure - which will require 60 votes in the Senate, meaning Mattis will need Democratic support - by week’s end. This all but assures Mattis will be quickly and easily confirmed as Pentagon chief soon after Trump’s inauguration…