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1 Jul, 2020 08:15

Trump promises to VETO defense budget bill if military bases honoring Confederate officers are renamed

Trump promises to VETO defense budget bill if military bases honoring Confederate officers are renamed

President Trump threatened to reject next year’s National Defense Authorization bill if lawmakers go ahead with Confederate name changes for army bases, including Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, and others.

“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!” US President Donald Trump tweeted.

His intervention is a swipe at a recent speech by Senator Warren, in which she urged once again to proceed with name changes for military bases and in-base installations that pay homage to “the traitors who took up arms against the United States to defend slavery.” 

Warren, who dropped out of the Democratic Party presidential primary race in March, rolled out the amendment in question on June 9. Days later, senators voted in favor of the proposal telling the Pentagon to remove“all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia” tied to the Confederate military.

There are 10 military bases still bearing the names of officers who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many of them – or their families – were slave owners like Braxton Bragg, Henry Benning, and the Confederacy’s most decorated general, Robert E. Lee.

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Trump has already expressed his opposition to the name changes, reaffirming earlier in June that “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these magnificent and fabled military installations.”

The Confederate legacy has long been a source of controversy, but the debate escalated in recent weeks after unarmed black man George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Warren’s call to strip the military installations of the Confederate names comes after the US Navy and Marine Corps – as well as NASCAR – moved to ban all public displays of the Confederate battle flag.

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