Trump threatens to veto Warren-backed defense bill removing Confederate names from military bases

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The measure was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee with bipartisan support.

President Donald Trump delivers a speech following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020.Carlos Barria / Reuters

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.SUBSCRIBEJuly 1, 2020, 11:18 AM UTC / Updated July 1, 2020, 11:32 AM UTCBy Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to veto a national defense bill the Senate is currently considering if an amendment from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to rename military bases honoring the Confederacy is not removed.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

The amendment was adopted by the GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month with support from both Democrats and Republicans.

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The provision that was wrapped into the massive defense bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would rename all bases and other military assets after the Confederacy. It would, within three years, remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy and anyone who served it from based and other property of the military, Warren’s office says.

Trump threatens to veto Warren-backed defense bill removing Confederate names from military bases

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“American military bases that carry the names of Confederate generals are not named for heroes,” Warren said in a floor speech Tuesday as the Senate debated the overall defense bill. “They are not named for men who risked their lives defending the United States and its soldiers. They are named for men who took up arms against the United States of America and killed American soldiers in the defense of slavery.”

Warren added, “Those who complain that removing the names of traitors from these bases ignores history ought to learn some history themselves.”

The Senate has been aiming to pass the defense policy bill before the July Fourth holiday, though the House is working on its own version.

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said in a tweet regarding Trump’s veto threat early Wednesday that there likely won’t be enough votes to strip the amendment from the legislation.

“There are definitely not 60 votes to remove that provision, which is already in the bill, and I don’t think there are 50,” he said.

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