The US House of Representatives is set to vote Tuesday on the must-pass 2021 National Defense Authorization Act as it hurtles towards a year-end to do list.
The final language of the annual NDAA, released Thursday, includes a requirement that will create a commission to come up with a plan for renaming the ten bases named for Confederate generals within three years.
All of the bases are in the South and were named in the early 1900s. Alabama’s base, Fort Rucker located near Enterprise, was named after Edmund W. Rucker. Rucker fought in Tennessee for the Confederacy before being wounded and losing his left arm. Towards the end of the Civil War, a prisoner exchange between the Confederacy and the Union armies freed Rucker where he eventually relocated to Birmingham.
The Hill reported that Senator Elizabeth Warren championed the change in response to the killing of George Floyd earlier this year. President Trump initially declared in June he would oppose the change but is now ok with the change going from a mandatory one year change to a commission with three years to come up with new names and the process for implementing it.
“The provision is mandatory and it did reflect a compromise both within the Senate Armed Services Committee and also between the House and the Senate but make no mistake, the names of the bases that are currently honoring white supremacists, those names will be changed,” Warren said.
Members of Congress from both parties have brushed aside the veto threats by Trump as having nothing to do with the military and consequently will not alter the language of the bill.
Additionally, leaders on Capitol Hill are still haggling over the size and need of a coronavirus stimulus package as cases continue to surge nationwide. Congress is set to vote Wednesday on a stopgap spending bill to fund the government until Dec. 18 in order to avoid a government shutdown and continue negotiating a COVID relief package.