STATEMENT: U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly Will Vote to Confirm Lloyd Austin to Lead Department of Defense

Today, United States Senator and retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly offered the following statement about his decision to grant a congressional waiver to move Gen. Lloyd Austin’s nomination forward and his vote to confirm Austin as the next Secretary of Defense:

“Civilian control over the military is a fundamental principle of our country, which is why waivers such as this must be carefully considered and rare. After meeting with Gen. Lloyd Austin last week and listening to his testimony, I believe he understands his responsibility to quickly restore the strong civilian leadership needed at the Pentagon. Our democracy was tested in recent weeks and it is necessary that competent leaders be expeditiously confirmed for the most crucial national security roles.

“General Austin is a decorated and crisis-tested leader. I look forward to confirming his historic nomination and working with him to strengthen Arizona’s critical role in our national defense and respond to the COVID-19 crisis at home and the threats we face around the world.”