WASHINGTON Jan 12 The U.S. House of
Representatives Armed Services Committee narrowly backed a
waiver on Thursday that would allow James Mattis to serve as
President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of defense, despite
having retired as a Marine general in 2013.
The panel voted 34 to 28, along party lines, for a waiver of
a provision of a law on civilian control of the U.S. military
requiring a seven-year wait before active-duty military can lead
the Department of Defense. Committee Democrats opposed the
measure after Trump's transition team cancelled Mattis'
appearance at a committee hearing.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Tom Brown)