President Donald Trump threatened to veto the upcoming defense spending bill if it includes a provision that would require the government to rename bases that honor Confederate generals.
Trump issued his threat regarding the amendment from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on social media late Tuesday night.
“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!” he said without specifying what “other bad things” were included in the proposal.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
The president’s threat is a reprisal of a stance he’s made known in recent weeks.
Warren’s amendment, which passed in Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee last month, would establish a protocol to rename military installations named after Confederate generals such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. There are currently 10 military bases named for Confederate officers.
Despite the president’s refusal, military leaders including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also expressed an openness to renaming the bases and facilities dedicated to Confederate leaders, according to Politico.
The president’s stance against renaming bases that pay tribute to Confederate soldiers comes amid heightened tensions on the issue.
Following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody, some protesters seeking to highlight inequality in the United States have begun vandalizing statues and monuments dedicated to historic Americans and Confederates.
Last week President Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments, statues, and memorials from acts of vandalism. The president said the executive order would combat “criminal violence” and the desecration of such monuments, referring to recent calls to tear down statues of historical figures as “lawless acts against our Great country.”