Peters Announces Support for Confirmation of Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on supporting Retired General Lloyd Austin’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense:

“One of my top priorities is keeping Americans safe and ensuring our men and women in uniform and their families have the support they need to complete their missions safely. In the Navy Reserve, I served with some of the most patriotic individuals I’ve ever known – and it is the lessons I learned in the Navy Reserve that I take with me as part of my work in the United States Senate.

“Our Founding Fathers were strong believers in civilian control of the military. That’s why President Washington resigned his military commission before becoming President. And I agree that a waiver should only be granted in exceedingly exceptional circumstances.

“However – just as we were four years ago – our nation is in an unprecedented time. We face a raging pandemic that has killed over 400,000 of our fellow Americans and crippled our nation. Our adversaries have utilized our retreat from the global stage these past four years to strengthen their hands and pose serious threats to our national security and that of our allies. We just suffered a massive cyber breach that has done untold damage to both government agencies and private companies. And our nation just witnessed an insurrectionist attack against our Capitol building and the very fabric of our democracy.

“At his confirmation hearing, Lloyd Austin demonstrated a strong commitment to civilian control of the military. In my conversations with him, I have been impressed with his qualifications, visions for restoring our standing in the world and how he will counter our military adversaries, including China, Russia and Iran. We are in a truly unprecedented time in our country – and after many discussions, I will be supporting his waiver and his nomination to serve as Secretary of Defense. I look forward to working with him on issues critical to our national security and to Michigan.”