President Trump tweeted Friday morning that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) “will not” be changing the names of military bases named after Confederate generals.
“I spoke to highly respected (Chairman) Senator @JimInhofe, who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!). Like me, Jim is not a believer in ‘Cancel Culture,’ ” Trump tweeted:
I spoke to highly respected (Chairman) Senator @JimInhofe, who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!). Like me, Jim is not a believer in “Cancel Culture”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2020
Trump’s tweet escalates a showdown with Congress over a defense policy bill that mandates the renaming of the bases.
This week, the House and Senate both passed their different versions of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes defense spending and activities.
Each version had provisions to rename the bases. The House version requires the military to change the names within a year after being signed into law. The Senate version of the bill requires the military to change the names over three years.
The two versions will now be combined in closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate, and presented to the full House and Senate for final passage. It is possible that the provisions could be stripped during those negotiations.
The White House threatened that Trump would veto the defense bill if the House’s provisions were included.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has talked about the possibility of a veto-override, since the bill garnered a veto-proof majority in the House and Senate, with a majority of Republicans in both chambers voting to approve the bill.
The final version of the bill has, over the last decade, been approved at the end of the year, often before Christmas or New Year’s Eve, so it is not likely the bill will be voted on before the November election.