In reality they were ecstatic with what the heard from Mattis: war, war, war.
He needed waivers because he's only been retired for 3 years, when the minimum is legally 7 years. But he easily got the waivers after the hearing.
Mattis named Russia, China, Iran and North korea as the biggest threats to the USA, and that aggression against Islamic terrorists needs to be rapidly increased. And there needs to be a huge and rapid expansion of the US military.
Oh, and Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East, not Israel and Saudi Arabia!
Lookin' good so far.
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, used his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to outline an aggressive war policy, designate Russia and China as enemies and call for a dramatic expansion of military spending, including the “modernization” of nuclear weapons and expansion of cyberwarfare.
All of those present—Democrats and Republicans alike—heaped praise on Mattis during the three-and-one-half hour hearing. Not a single senator asked the nominee how he might scale down US wars, which are currently raging in several countries. Instead, senators vied with each other in appealing to Mattis to identify threats to “national security” that will be immediately confronted by the Trump administration.
...Until Thursday, Mattis was not legally eligible to be defense secretary. Federal law prevents selecting any individual who has been out of the military for less than seven years, a rule designed to protect the democratic principle of military subordination to the elected civilian government. Immediately after the hearing, the Armed Services Committee voted 24-3 to waive the law for Mattis, who retired from active command only three years ago, after which he assumed a seat on the corporate board of defense contracting giant General Dynamics. The US Senate quickly followed, voting 81-17 in favor of the waiver.
[source : With bipartisan support, Trump defense nominee outlines plans for global war, WSWS, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/13/matt-j13.html, 13th January 2017]