Republicans force Mattis issue in must-pass spending bill



House Republicans released a short-term spending bill Tuesday containing language designed to speed confirmation of retired Gen. James Mattis to be Donald Trump’s defense secretary. The move will force Senate Democrats to decide whether to oppose the budget legislation over the matter — and risk a government shutdown — ahead of a Friday deadline.

The language would still require Mattis to receive 60 votes for a waiver needed to join Trump’s Cabinet because of his recent military service. But it would expedite the Senate process in advance of Trump’s swearing-in.

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