Trump's 1st Cabinet Picks Officially Confirmed
Former Marines James Mattis and John Kelly are in
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2017 5:37 PM CST
Newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives for church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, on Donald Trump's inauguration...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Two of Donald Trump's cabinet picks are officially in place after Senate votes Friday, the AP reports. First, the Republican-led Senate voted to confirm James Mattis to be Defense secretary. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who challenged the idea of a former military leader in a civilian job, voted "no." Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. Mattis will replace Ash Carter, who has been former President Barack Obama's defense secretary since February 2015. Republicans pushed for fast approval to ensure the post wouldn't be empty even for a brief amount of time after Trump's swearing-in.

The Senate also voted convincingly to put a tough-talking retired Marine general in charge of overseeing Trump's pledge to crack down on illegal immigration. Senators confirmed John Kelly's nomination to lead the Homeland Security Department 88-11. Among Kelly's likely first assignments will be executing Trump's plans for the fate of a program that has protected more than 750,000 young immigrants from deportation. Kelly says he's in favor of a wall at the Mexican border, but he says a physical barrier alone isn't enough to secure the 2,000-mile frontier.

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