U.S. President Donald Trump says he will veto an annual bill appropriating money for the Defense Department if the measure includes a requirement for renaming U.S. military installations that honor the Confederate States of America.
His latest rejection of the move came in a late Tuesday tweet in which he repeated his frequent slur against Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“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 Senate Armed Services Committee gave bipartisan approval in a 25-2 vote on Warren’s amendment last month. It calls for the Pentagon to act within three years to identify and rename any base, street, aircraft, weapon or other “asset” commemorating the Confederacy, a group of states that wanted to preserve slavery and seceded from the country before losing the 1860s Civil War.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy have all signaled they are open to renaming the bases.
Among the installations named after Confederate military figures are Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Hood and Fort Pickett.
The issue re-emerged amid nationwide protests following the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd. Protests in multiple cities have targeted monuments to Confederate figures and led to some being removed, including one of Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy, in Richmond, Virginia, and one honoring top general Robert E. Lee in Montgomery, Alabama.
The popular NASCAR racing series also banned the display of the Confederate flag at its events.