Contact Amanda Farnan Press Secretary (774) 571–3639 email@example.com Biden facing some pushback for Defense secretary pick December 9, 2020 The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has questions about his fellow Democrat’s choice to lead the Pentagon. President-elect Joe Biden has picked retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his Defense secretary. Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said Austin is qualified, but he’s concerned about the implications for civilian control of the military. His confirmation would require a waiver from Congress to get around a law that requires military officers to be retired for seven years before they can be secretary. Austin’s confirmation would be the second waiver in just four years. Lawmakers did the same for President Donald Trump’s first Defense secretary, Jim Mattis.