The incoming Trump administration faced its first test on Capitol Hill Wednesday, as House Republicans, trying to speed up the nomination of the president-elect’s pick for secretary of defense, called a government funding bill into question just hours before it was to expire.
The debate strikes at the heart of a long-held principle of American government that separates the military from the civilian.
It began when House Republicans added a waiver to the short-term continuing resolution (CR). The waiver would expedite the process of allowing defense nominee retired Gen. James Mattis to bypass a nearly 70-year-old law requiring former members of the military to wait seven years after their military service before serving in a civilian post.
Mattis is ineligible to serve as secretary of defense since he retired from the military in 2013.
The waiver limits debate on…