SPONSORED:

Sen. Tim Scott staying neutral for now on renaming military bases

Sen. Tim Scott staying neutral for now on renaming military bases
© Getty Images

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Kerry Washington backs For the People Act: 'Black and Brown voters are being specifically targeted' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Bipartisan group reaches infrastructure deal; many questions remain MORE (S.C.), the only African American Republican in the Senate, isn’t taking a position yet on whether to rename U.S. military bases named after Confederate generals.

Scott, who is taking the lead in drafting GOP legislation responding to the death of George Floyd and other African Americans killed by law enforcement, said the police reform bill is his top focus now.

“I haven’t given it much thought. I’ve certainly seen the reports of it all but ultimately I’ve been focusing on the police reform and no need to answer questions I haven’t given full thought to,” he said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“What I’ve learned is that the devil is always in the details,” he added, explaining that going with first “instincts” in responding to a tricky policy question “doesn’t always produce the best results.”

The question of removing the names of Confederate generals from military installations such as Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Hood in Texas, or Camp Beauregard in Louisiana has become a hot topic in the Senate since Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats have turned solidly against gas tax Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (D-Mass.) added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week doing just that.

Earlier this week Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' Cotton, Pentagon chief tangle over diversity training in military MORE and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyVice News promotes Micheal Learmonth to editor-in-chief Trump appointee endorses Christine Wormuth as Army secretary Overnight Defense: Former Navy secretary reportedly spent .4M on travel | Ex-Pentagon chief Miller to testify on Jan. 6 Capitol attack | Austin to deliver West Point commencement speech MORE said they were open to renaming the bases but on Wednesday Trump came out strongly against the idea and threatened to veto the NDAA if it included such a requirement.

Senate Republicans are split on the question, which makes Scott’s voice on the subject a potential game changer.

Some senators such as Sens. Mike RoundsMike RoundsCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections MORE (R-S.D.) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? China's genocide must be stopped MORE (R-Utah) say they support changing base names — for Romney, in at least in some cases — while others are skeptical.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyPence heckled with calls of 'traitor' at conservative conference Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (R-Mo.) took a strong stand against Warren’s amendment.

“I opposed this amendment, spoke against it, and voted no in the committee. Congress should not be mandating renaming of our bases and military installations,” Hawley tweeted on Thursday.