The Republican-led Senate has decisively approved legislation to permit retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to run the Pentagon for Donald Trump.

The 81-17 vote came just a few hours after the Senate Armed Services Committee cleared the bill overwhelmingly.

The measure overrides a prohibition against former U.S. service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the top job at the Defense Department.

The House Armed Services Committee is preparing to vote on a similar bill to exempt Mattis from the rule. A vote in the full House is scheduled for Friday. The bill then would go to the president for signature.

Mattis retired from military service in 2013.

The legislation is separate from a Senate confirmation vote on Mattis serving as Trump’s defense secretary.

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