President Donald Trump has made it clear numerous times that he will veto the defense spending bill if lawmakers try to change the name of Confederate monuments or bases.
And on Thursday, Senate Republicans betrayed Trump and sided with Democrats to pass the National Defense Authorization Act.
The measure passed in the GOP-controlled Senate by a vote of 86 to 14.
Both the House and Senate have passed bills with majorities large enough to overcome a veto from Trump.
Now, all military bases named after Confederate figures will have to be renamed.
I’m proud of the work we accomplished in the FY2021 #NDAA on behalf of our servicemembers, including securing the second consecutive pay raise of over 3%. This bipartisan legislation is a big win for North Carolina’s servicemembers and military families. https://t.co/CnSCvlyujW
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) July 23, 2020
The Senate just passed the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes critical investments in our nation's security, our veterans, and the well-being of Montanans.
How does the NDAA serve Montana?⬇️ pic.twitter.com/J7jyLWzV9a
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) July 23, 2020
Last week, Trump said he would not sign a defense bill if there were any amendments that called for military bases to be renamed.
“What are we going to rename it? Are you going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton? What are you going to name it, Chris?. No, I’m not going to go changing them,” Trump said.
When asked if he would veto a defense spending bill to save the name of Confederate military bases, Trump said: “I might. Yeah! I might.”
“When people proudly had their Confederate flags they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South. They like the South. I say it’s freedom of many things, but it’s freedom of speech,” Trump said.
Trump then went on to attack “cancel culture.”
“You know the whole thing with cancel culture — we can’t cancel our whole history. We can’t forget that the North and the South fought,” Trump said.
Failed 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced a measure to strip U.S. military bases of confederate names.
Warren introduced an amendment in the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month to make the Pentagon rename bases named for Confederate leaders — and Republicans passed it.
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 American people know these names have to go,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference, claiming that Trump “seems to be the only person left who doesn’t get it.”
The Senate panel passing the amendment is in clear defiance of Trump, who has repeatedly said he will “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 history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump said last month during an interview.
“Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” he added.