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Trump threatens to veto NDAA if it requires renaming Confederate-named military bases

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question at an update briefing on testing capacity Monday, May 11, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
July 01, 2020

President Donald Trump threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill if it contains a mandate to rename military bases named for Confederate generals.

“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 late Tuesday.

Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren had introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would require the renaming of the military bases. The Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee voted on June 10 in a closed-door meeting to implement the amendment into the bill.

The committee announced on June 11 that it had voted to advance the NDAA and included an executive summary with text confirming the amendment.

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“Establishing a commission to study and provide recommendations concerning the removal, names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America, addressing an implementation plan, cost, and criteria for renaming, among other procedures. The implementation plan is to be implemented three years after enactment,” the summary stated.

The amendment gives the Pentagon a three-year deadline to rename the bases.

On the same day the amendment was passed, Trump declared in a tweet that he would “not even consider” renaming the military bases.

“It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc. These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump said.

“The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” he added. “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also said that Trump would “not be signing legislation that renames America’s forts,” and echoed Trump’s opposition to such renaming.

The $740.5 billion defense policy bill is considered a “must-pass” bill and has never failed to pass in 59 consecutive years, according to Washington Examiner.