Reed Statement on Nomination of General James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense


WASHINGTON, DC – With President-elect Donald Trump scheduled to hold an event in
Fayetteville, North Carolina tonight to officially announce the nomination of
General James N. Mattis (ret.) to be the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, today
issued the following statement:

«This nomination raises a significant legal issue. In order for General Mattis to
serve, existing law must be amended since it prevents recently retired officers from
serving as Secretary of Defense.

«General Mattis is an extraordinarily accomplished Marine officer of great
intellect. His selfless service to the nation has made a lasting contribution.

«Congress, both the House and Senate, must have a serious debate before taking any
action that would significantly alter the established principle of civilian control
of our Armed Forces.

«Trying to jam an historic change like this through on a yearend spending bill, or
changing the rules before a serious debate can take place, is not the way to conduct
the people’s business.

«I look forward to working with Chairman McCain and others to ensure there are
appropriate hearings and thoughtful debate.

«Surely, at the very least, it is worth having bipartisan hearings and debate before
taking any action that could unintentionally disrupt the long established principle
of civilian control of the military.»