GOP Senators Move to Block Renaming of Confederate Military Bases After Trump Veto Threat

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing "to examine COVID-19 fraud, focusing on law enforcement's response to those exploiting the pandemic" on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 9, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) proposal to remove an amendment to rename military bases named after Confederate generals gained steam on Wednesday.

Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced on Wednesday that they will cosponsor Hawley’s amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to remove the congressional mandate that military bases named after Confederate generals be renamed.

Hawley’s proposed amendment would instead create a one-year commission, with public input, to determine the best path forward for the military bases.

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) amendment to the NDAA in June, which called for the removal of “all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America … from all assets of the Department of Defense.”

Hawley was one of the lone voices against Warren’s move, which would require renaming military bases such as Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Hawley’s bill gained momentum after the president vowed to veto the NDAA if it included the requirement to rename the bases.

Trump wrote on Tuesday:

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!

During Hawley’s Senate floor speech announcing his amendment to strip Warren’s amendment from the NDAA, he said that the Massachusetts progressive’s measure would not “achieve justice for George Floyd” or “bring our nation together.”

Instead, Hawley said that Democrats would like the country to “fight a new civil war in our culture, day and night, without end.”

Hawley said, “It is time for our leaders to stop using their position here to divide us. Let us work together instead to build on the history and responsibility that we share as Americans to continue that unfinished work of this nation that we call home.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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