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Foster Statement on Waiver for Secretary-designate Austin

Jan 21, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after voting to approve a waiver for General Lloyd Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense:

"I strongly believe that civilian leadership of our Armed Forces is an important principle, and the seven-year mandatory cooling-off period between military service and serving as Secretary of Defense would be my preference under normal circumstances."

"Unfortunately, we find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances brought on by both the global pandemic and four years of mismanagement of the Pentagon by the Trump administration."

"Simply put, in the interests of the unprecedented national security challenges we face, we cannot afford delay in installing competent and experienced leadership at the Department of Defense."

"General Austin has been made available to Members of Congress and has demonstrated that he understands the importance of civilian leadership at the Pentagon. I voted to grant a waiver so he can become our next Secretary of Defense without delay."

Foster's detailed statement submitted for the Congressional record is here.