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Trump threatens to veto defense bill over renaming military bases

President Donald Trump says he will veto the very important military funding bill for the 2021 fiscal year if it includes the amendment introduced by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) aimed at renaming military assets named after Confederate leaders and generals.

Warren is not alone in her desire to rename the military bases. A large number of Republican senators have also endorsed the idea. Trump, however, has remained staunchly opposed.

“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.

Warren in her speech Tuesday said the country could not continue to allow its military installations to honor traitors to the United States.

“The defense bill we are debating today takes an important step in this direction by addressing the honors that our nation continues to bestow on Confederate officers who took up arms against the United States in the defense of chattel slavery,” she said. “This bill denies those honors to military leaders who killed U.S. soldiers in defense of the idea that [B]lack people are not people, but instead are property to be bought and sold.”

Warren said that those who complain that this is a move to erase history need to brush up on the subject.

“These bases were not named in the years following the Civil War. No. They were named decades and decades later, during the Jim Crow era, to strengthen a movement that tried to glorify the Confederacy and reinforce white supremacy,” said Warren.

The language of the bill would not just rename bases, but ensure that the Confederacy is not honored anywhere, in any form, by the U.S. military.

“Not later than three years after the date of the enactment of this [a]ct, the Secretary of Defense shall implement the plan submitted by the commission and remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America… or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense,” the bill text reads.

If Senate Republicans back the removal of the Confederate tributes it could set up an interesting showdown with the president over military funding during an election year.

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