- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2020

President Trump overnight threatened to veto the $740.5 billion defense policy bill if it includes legislation to rename military bases and assets that honor Confederate leaders.

Last month, a Republican-majority Senate panel approved a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act — which lays out policy and military spending for the following year — that would require the Pentagon to change the name of military bases and other assets named after Confederate Civil War figures within three years.

Weeks later, a group of 36 Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, introduced legislation to speed up the timeline to remove Confederate names from military bases and Pentagon assets within one year.

“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!” Mr. Trump tweeted overnight.

But the Senate battle has extended beyond just the timing of when to implement the name changes as some Republicans are now seeking to remove any language that would mandate removing the Confederate honors.

Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, issued a counter push to the existing legislation and last week introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would eliminate the mandate and instead tasks a commission to hold public hearings, gather input from military families and veterans, and work with state and local communities to recommend a way forward on the controversial issue.

The full Senate is expected to take up the amendments for consideration this week.

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