Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Selecting Generals Created a Non-Confirmation Confirmation

As a Member of the White House Staff, the National Security Adviser to the President doesn’t typically require Senate Confirmation, though debate over the now-ousted Michael T. Flynn would have been quite interesting.

But Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who was named to that post by President Trump on Monday, will require Senate Approval because of a quirk in Pentagon Rules.

General McMaster does not have to be confirmed in the manner of a typical Cabinet Secretary. But he is an Active-Duty Three-Star General, and his High Rank requires that any change to a new position be affirmed by the Senate if he is to retain that Rank.

Alternatively, he could retire or take a demotion to Two-Star General to skirt the Senate.

But that could cost him prestige and perhaps Pension Benefits, and he is not pursuing that route.

Because it is not an Official Confirmation, the Senate Armed Services Committee is not required to hold a formal hearing, but Lawmakers could always choose to convene one or debate the issue on the floor as a way to explore Trump Administration Security Policy.

General McMaster is very popular on Capitol Hill and is not likely to face any opposition; many lawmakers prefer him to Mr. Flynn.

This is the second instance in which the Military Status of a person tapped by Trump has required action on Capitol Hill, a fact that emphasizes how heavily Trump is relying on the Armed Forces to fill top posts.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a former Marine General, required a Congressional Waiver to take that spot since he had not been formally out of the military the required Seven Years under a provision meant to encourage Civilian Control of the Military.

Colin L. Powell, a White House Adviser before he became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, required Senate approval to serve as National Security Adviser to President Reagan since he was an Active-Duty General at the time.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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