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Trump Vows To Go to Major Lengths To Block Military Base Name Changes

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President Donald Trump is vowing to veto a massive defense bill to keep military bases such as Ft. Bragg named after Confederate officers.

Trump took to Twitter late Tuesday to threaten a veto of a $741 billion annual Pentagon authorization bill because it would require a host of military bases named after Confederate figures to be renamed within three years.

Trump rival Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic senator representing Massachusetts, won a bipartisan vote in a GOP-controlled panel to force the bases to be renamed. It does not appear as though opponents of the idea have the votes to remove it during floor debate.

“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 wrote on Twitter.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had indicated previously on Tuesday that the Confederate base renaming requirement in the bill will not change.

“I dare President Trump to veto the bill over Confederate base naming. It’s in the bill. It has bipartisan support. It will stay in the bill,” Schumer said.

Do you think military bases named after Confederate figures should be renamed?

The annual measure has passed every year for almost six decades and typically enjoys veto-proof support, though various controversies often mean that it does not pass until late in the year. Trump’s threat probably ensures that the issue won’t come to a head until after the November election.

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Warren’s measure to force the bases to be renamed within three years by a voice vote last month. A commission would be set up to oversee the process.

Since the Senate’s 45 Democrats and two Democratic-aligned independents are behind the provision, GOP opponents of the idea would have to — at a minimum — summon 50 of the chamber’s 53 Republicans to replace it if everyone votes and Vice President Mike Pence is available to break a tie. As a practical matter, it would take 60 votes under filibuster rules.

That means that opponents of Warren’s provision, like Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, face difficult odds during floor debate.

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The chamber is debating the bill now but won’t finish it until later this month.

“Instead of mandating the renaming of military bases, including Fort Bragg, we need a thoughtful and constructive process that includes the input of our military communities,” Tillis said.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says he won’t fight the Warren amendments and that he is “OK” with whatever negotiators on the measure ultimately decide on the issue.

That’s a view generally shared by top House Republican Kevin McCarthy of California.

A Democratic-controlled House panel is holding a daylong drafting session Wednesday in which it is sure to address the topic.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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