Duckworth 'confident' she can work with Mattis

Duckworth 'confident' she can work with Mattis
© Source: Office of Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) says she is “confident” she can work with Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis if he is confirmed as Defense secretary.

“While we disagree on some policies, I respect his distinguished career and, if he is confirmed, I am confident we can work together to protect our troops and keep our nation secure,” she said in a statement.  

Duckworth, who met with Mattis on Tuesday, has voiced concern over a waiver that would have to pass Congress to allow Mattis to serve. The waiver would let Mattis bypass a law requiring Defense secretaries to be out of uniform for seven years, which is in place to maintain the American principle of civilian leadership of the military. 


“Though I've made my concerns clear about eroding the civilian leadership or our military, I had a candid and thoughtful conversation about military strategy, personnel, and procurement reform with General Mattis,” said Duckworth, a 23-year combat veteran. 

The waiver must pass both chambers of Congress and will be marked up in committee after Mattis appears for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, as well as before the House Armed Services Committee later that day. 

So far in the Senate, only Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs MORE (D-N.Y.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, has said she would oppose a waiver for Mattis over the same concerns. In the House, only Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a Marine veteran, similarly has said he would oppose the waiver.