As the debate around Confederate iconography intensifies, the House of Representatives has approved a funding bill that includes a measure to remove Confederate names from military bases.
CNN reports that the measure is a part of a larger defense authorization bill that includes measures to give soldiers a 3 percent increase in pay. The measure passed through the House with a bipartisan vote of 295-195 and would require that the names of the bases be changed within a year. The U.S. Senate is working on a similar measure that would give the military three years to change the names in their spending bill. The rare agreement between the two parties means that some version of either measure will be present in the bill presented to the president.
That’s the part where it all gets questionable.
See, I’m not sure if you’re aware but President Trump is kind of a whole-ass white supremacist. If you don’t believe me, literally read anything senior editor for The Root, Stephen A. Crockett Jr., has written on the subject.
He’s said in the past that he would veto the bill if it had any language that requires the renaming of any military bases. “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!” President Trump tweeted earlier this month.
The White House issued a statement on Tuesday further reiterating its concerns about the effort to remove the names. For someone so obsessed with winning, he’s really pressed about celebrating a bunch of losers.
In addition to renaming the forts, the bill would explicitly ban Confederate flags on military property, which is something that Defense Secretary Mark Esper may have done last week. I don’t know; he didn’t really say. The bill also allocates $1 billion to the Pentagon for a pandemic response and preparedness fund which would’ve been awesome to have six months ago.
While it’s encouraging that both the Senate and the House are in agreement on changing the names of the bases, when push comes to shove the GOP typically just lets Trump hit them with the Superkick. While I’d love to see them grow some backbone, I doubt renaming military bases is going to be the issue that does it.