President Donald Trump Signs First Bill Into Law
Jan 21, 2017 03:13 PM EST
On Friday, moments after being sworn into office, President Donald Trump signed his first bill into law making way for his defense secretary to be confirmed.
According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, the 45th President of the United States of America signed a bill passed by Congress earlier this month that would allow retired Gen. James Mattis to serve as defense secretary. The bill sought to waive the requirement of defense secretaries to be out of the military for at least seven years. This provision of the law is intended to guarantee civilian control of the military.
The House voted 268-151 in favor of the bill and passed to the Senate 81-17. The bill reached former President Obama who failed to take action until President Trump signed the bill after his inauguration. Later in the afternoon of that day, the Senate confirmed Mattis as defense secretary with a 98-1 vote. Mattis retired in 2013 as the chief of U.S. Central Command in which he became one of the most influential officers of his generation and commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, other papers Trump signed included formal nominations for his Cabinet and a proclamation for a national day of patriotism, as reported by CNN. Trump used series of pens to sign the measures and distributed them among the people that gathered. As is customary, Presidential signing pens are regularly given out as commemorative gifts to politicians or individuals.
The atmosphere was amiable as Trump offered his first pen to Democrats' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The three talked about trading pens as Pelosi remarked that hers came from Georgia Representative Tom Price, who is being strongly opposed by Democrats by calling for an investigation into some of his stock trades. Price is up for Health and Human Services.
So far, two nominees of Trump's Cabinet have been confirmed by the Senate. These are Gen. James Mattis for the Department of Defense and Gen. John Kelly with Homeland Security. The other nominees are expected to receive debate, hearings and votes in the proceeding days.