Senate approves Mattis to lead Pentagon, first Trump Cabinet member

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security on Friday, making him the second confirmed member of President Donald Trump's cabinet just hours after Trump took the oath of office.

Eighty-eight senators approved Kelly and just 11 opposed him. One senator did not vote.

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The U.S. Senate confirmed the first member of Republican President Donald Trump's cabinet on Friday, voting overwhelmingly to approve retired Marine General James Mattis as secretary of defense just hours after Trump was sworn in as commander-in-chief.

The vote was 98-1.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the only no vote. She was also the only member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote against Mattis when the panel approved him by 26-1 earlier this week.

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

(EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
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Republican Senator Jeff Sessions did not vote.

Gillibrand has said she admires Mattis. But she objected to waiving a law on civilian control of the U.S. military to allow him to lead the Pentagon only 3-1/2 years after retiring from the Marines, instead of the seven required by the statute.

Both Republicans and Democrats have heaped praise on Mattis, who is hugely popular with the Marines, since Trump announced his nomination.

Congress passed the waiver last week, and Trump signed it shortly after he was inaugurated on Friday.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

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