President Donald Trump threatened to veto the annual defense bill if it includes an amendment requiring military bases named after Confederate leaders to be renamed, The Washington Post reports.
The Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee approved the bill and the amendment unanimously last month.
Republicans have generally expressed support for the measure but Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe has suggested changing the language in the amendment, brought by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to recommend the renaming rather than requiring it.
“I’m not wedded to the idea that those names of those military installations are eternal,” said Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune. “I think that you reevaluate, given the timing and circumstances and where we are in the country, who we want to revere with, you know, by naming military installations or other national monuments. And so I think you have to periodically take a look at that. And in this case, it’s perhaps time to do it.”
Trump threatens to veto:
“I will Veto the Defense Authorization Bill if the Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas'” Warren (of all people!) Amendment, which will lead to the renaming (plus other bad things!) of Fort Bragg, Fort Robert E. Lee, and many other Military Bases from which we won Two World Wars, is in the Bill!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
The threat came after Trump said he would “not even consider the renaming” of 10 bases named after Confederate generals.
Democrats dare Trump to try:
“I dare President Trump to veto the bill over Confederate-base naming,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. “It’s in the bill. It has bipartisan support. It will stay in the bill.” He added, “I think the bottom line is what’s in the bill will stay in the bill.”
“Without Trump vetoing the entire defense bill, stripping the amendment from this year’s NDAA remains highly unlikely,” The Post reported. “Opponents of the base-renaming amendment are not expected to be anywhere close to the 60 votes needed to remove it from the bill.”
“There are definitely not 60 votes to remove that provision, which is already in the bill, and I don’t think there are 50,” said Hawaii Democrat Brian Schatz.