5th District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes voted against a waiver to appoint General Lloyd Austin as President Biden’s Secretary of Defense. The position must be filled by a civilian, or someone out of active duty service for at least 7 years. Hayes says while she has tremendous respect for General Austin’s lifetime of service to the country, experience and qualifications, she was wary of waiving the requirement. Austin retired from the military in 2016. Only two exceptions have been previously granted, the most recent in 2017 to James Mattis. Hayes says she would be open to considering amending the rule, but believes Congress should refrain from making these types of exceptions.