President Donald Trump is refusing to allow Congress to rename military bases currently named after Confederate leaders and is threatening to veto a bill to fund the U.S. military unless a bipartisan group of legislators agrees to remove a provision that would do just that, NBC News reports.
In June, the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee approved a proposal that would change the names of bases and other military defense equipment honoring Confederate military leaders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who authored the original provision, added the proposal as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill that authorizes annual military spending.
Trump immediately fired off a tweet opposition the move:
“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!” the president wrote.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
As Trump has continued to dig his heels in on the issue, several prominent members of the GOP have reneged on the agreement to join the president’s position.
Earlier this week, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the provision was a “big issue” in the party’s negotiations with Democrats, per NBC.
“Only the president can say whether or not there’s any room for a negotiation,” Inhofe told NBC, adding it was doubtful that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would bring a bill to the floor “that has a veto on it” from the president.
However, President-elect Joe Biden —who’s publicly supported the measure— would likely be able to change the names with an executive order upon taking office.