President Trump is standing by his refusal to rename military bases that are named after confederate leaders, saying their history is too storied.
According to the International Business Times, calls to rename Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and Fort Benning in Georgia have intensified during the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. However, Trump’s stance on the issues has not wavered.
“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump wrote on Twitter last month. “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”
Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky said at the time that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are willing to consider the issue.
“The secretary of defense and secretary of the Army are open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic,” Belinsky said in a statement last month, according to Politico.
Trump’s stance could set up a clash on the issue. The senate is currently debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to rename the bases. A bipartisan group of of House lawmakers is also looking to add a provision changing the names as part of its defense legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), called Trump’s threat “typical bluster” Tuesday and dared him to try to veto the bill. Trump announced he would several hours later, in a tweet calling out Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who drafted the provision.
“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!”
Warren’s provision would create a commission charged with issuing recommendations for renaming Army installations that bear Confederate names. The Pentagon would have three years to install the changes, including the removal of other Confederate names and symbols from ships, aircraft, streets, and other Defense Department property.
“The Confederate soldiers who betrayed the United States to fight for the Confederacy were fighting for the institution of slavery. Plain. Simple. Ugly,” Warren said on the Senate floor Monday. “It is time to put the names of those leaders who fought and killed U.S. soldiers in defense of a perverted version of America where they belong, as footnotes in our history books, not plastered on our nation’s most significant military installations.”