Biden taps Trump appointee Norquist to be his temporary Defense secretary

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President-elect Joe Biden taps current Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist to temporarily run the Pentagon while the new team awaits confirmation of a permanent DoD chief, according to four people familiar with discussions.

Norquist, the Pentagon’s confirmed No. 2 since July 2019, would take over on Jan. 20 and run the Defense Department as acting chief until the Senate confirms retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin for the position.

Austin’s confirmation has been delayed as the next administration seeks a waiver for him to serve, which must be approved by both houses of Congress. Retired officers are required to be out of uniform for seven years before becoming Defense secretary, and Austin retired in 2016.

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