Senate poised to pass defense bill with plan changing Confederate-named bases

Senate poised to pass defense bill with plan changing Confederate-named bases
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The Senate is poised to pass a mammoth defense policy bill with a plan to change the names of Confederate-named military installations that sparked a veto threat from President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE.

The Senate will vote to start wrapping up debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Wednesday, paving the way for the bill to pass this week.

Included in the bill is a provision forming a commission to come up with a plan to rename bases named after Confederate figures, with a requirement that it be carried out within three years.


Some Republicans had hoped to remove or water down the language as part of the Senate's debate on the defense bill.

But none of the six amendments that got a roll call vote as part of the Senate's debate were related to the bases.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyBush-, Obama-era officials urge Senate to swiftly confirm Biden's DHS pick Senate committee advances Biden's DHS pick despite Republican pushback Google suspends donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying election MORE (R-Mo.) filed an amendment to the bill to remove the requirement that the Pentagon carry out the plan. It would instead create a one-year commission to study the issue and determine what to do about the bases.

But Hawley told The Hill that he does not expect to get a vote. He previously tried to bring it up for a vote before the two-week July Fourth recess but was blocked by Democrats.

"I'm sure it won't. I asked for it to be included ... and Sen. Reed objected," Hawley said, referring to Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedOvernight Defense: Biden lifts Trump's transgender military ban | Democrats, advocates celebrate end of ban | 5,000 guardsmen staying in DC through mid-March Overnight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Senate confirms Austin to lead Pentagon under Biden MORE (R.I.), the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Asked if he has had follow up conversations about trying to bring it up after the six amendments currently being voted on, Hawley added: "They've made clear that they're not going to do [more]. This is it."

The Senate's expected passage of the bill comes after Trump threatened to veto the bill if the provision about renaming Army bases was included.

“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!” Trump tweeted earlier this month.

Several Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE (Ky.), have urged Trump to back down from his veto threat. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate sworn in as jurors for Trump impeachment trial GOP digs in on preserving Trump tax cuts On The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes MORE (R-Iowa) separately predicted that the Senate would "probably" override a veto, a first that would require two-thirds of the chamber.

The House passed its own defense bill on Tuesday despite a veto threat from Trump. The House bill included a requirement that the bases be renamed within a year.

Once the Senate passes its bill, both chambers will need to go to a conference committee to hash out their differences. The final bill is not expected to get sent to Trump's desk until after the November election.