WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday vowed to strike-down legislation renaming military bases that honor Confederate leaders after Congress this week overwhelmingly voted to pass the move.
Trump had previously threatened to use his presidential veto to kill the $740 billion defense bill but lawmakers overruled him when the Senate and House both approved of the measure with veto-proof votes of 86-14 and 295-125, respectively.
In a tweet on Friday morning, the president announced he was changing tact and claimed that GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Trump ally, would help him squash the renaming.
“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!),” the president wrote.
“Like me, Jim is not a believer in ‘Cancel Culture’,” he continued.
It’s unclear how successful Trump will be.
While the House and the Senate must now get together to iron out any ideological differences in their two bills, the overwhelming bipartisan votes suggest there is appetite among lawmakers to scrub the names of Confederate soldiers from military bases.
The motion will require the Pentagon to rename within the next three years all military assets named after people who fought against the Union 155 years ago.
It comes as the nation engages in an emotional conversation about race following the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police in Minneapolis which sparked once-in-a-generation civil rights demonstrations.
Trump has been opposed to the idea from the beginning, saying the Confederate military leaders were part of the “Great American Heritage.”
Military bases which would be renamed include Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia, which are named after Confederate Gens. Braxton Bragg and Henry Lewis Benning.
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