Military bases to be renamed, after veto-proof U.S. Senate vote

Photo: Blashfield Sign Company (Public Domain)

The U.S Senate yesterday voted to rename bases currently bearing the names of Confederate officers, as part of a sweeping defence spending bill.

The renaming amendment was added by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and only a handful of senators opposed it, resulting in a veto-proof 86-141 "blowout", as The Washington Post put it.

The Senate passed its version of a $740 billion defense bill Thursday by a veto-proof majority, in the latest sign that Congress is undeterred by President Trump’s threat to reject legislation mandating that the Pentagon rename bases honoring Confederate generals.

The 86-to-14 Senate vote follows the House’s 295-to-125 vote earlier in the week on parallel legislation. Both bills instruct the Defense Department to come up with new names for the problematic bases; the Senate gives the Pentagon three years to make the changes, while the House bill instructs officials to finish the process within one year.

The White House objected to the inclusion of any mandate earlier in the week in a 13-page memorandum threatening that Trump would veto the House bill if it passed in its current form. The House and Senate will have to negotiate a compromise between the two versions of the defense bill before sending it to the president’s desk.

1. Psalm 86:14: "O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them."