Failed 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced a measure this week to strip U.S. military bases of confederate names.
Warren introduced an amendment in the Senate Armed Services Committee to make the Pentagon rename bases named for Confederate leaders — and Republicans passed it.
“The American people know these names have to go,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference, claiming that President Donald Trump “seems to be the only person left who doesn’t get it.”
Missouri Republican Josh Hawley was one of the only Republicans on the committee who voted against the measure.
“I opposed this amendment, spoke against it, and voted no in the committee,” Hawley said. “Congress should not be mandating renaming of our bases and military installations.”
From The Hill:
The amendment, offered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), was approved by voice vote Wednesday during the committee’s closed-door markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the source familiar with the situation said. The amendment would give the Pentagon three years to remove the Confederate names.
Just two days before Trump’s tweets, an Army spokesperson said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper were “open” to renaming the 10 bases that are named after Confederate military officers.
The bases, which are in Southern states, are Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Bragg, Fort Polk, Fort Pickett, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Rucker, and Camp Beauregard.
The Army’s Monday position was a reversal from as recently as February, when the service said it had no plans to change the name of any base, including those named after Confederate officers.
The Senate panel passing the amendment is in clear defiance of Trump, who said on Thursday that he would “not even consider” renaming Army bases that are named after Confederate officers.
“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump said.
“Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” he added.
But several Republicans have come out in support of Warren’s bill despite Trump’s comments.
California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy said he was “not opposed” to renaming the bases named for Confederate figures.
“There are a number of people in the armed services who think it could be appropriate to change some. Some would say otherwise not to,” McCarthy said.
Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt said he “didn’t have any problem” with the idea “at all,” and added that “there have been lots of great soldiers since the Civil War” whose names could go on forts.
“Braxton Bragg was probably the worst commanding general in the Confederate Army,” he continued, singling out Fort Bragg in North Carolina. “Interesting general to name a fort after.”