Spending bill would block military construction at bases with Confederate names

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A House spending bill for military construction would block funding for projects at bases named after Confederate leaders unless the properties are in the process of being renamed.

The fiscal 2021 appropriations bill for military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs would prohibit funding from going to military construction projects “located on a military installation bearing the name of a confederate officer, except in the case that a process to replace such names has been initiated,” according to draft text released by the House Appropriations Committee.

The provision is included in a $250.9 billion spending bill that would give $10.1 billion to military construction in fiscal 2021. The House Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee will consider the bill Monday night.

The provision in the spending bill comes as the annual defense policy bill appears poised to require the Pentagon to rename bases and other property bearing the names of Confederate military officers.

The debate over Confederate names and symbols was reignited last month amid nationwide protests over racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer, since fired, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In the military, the most high-profile debate has been over 10 Army bases named for Confederate generals and a colonel.

President Trump has threatened to veto the defense policy bill if it requires the bases to be renamed, but both the House and Senate have included such a requirement in their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The House Armed Services Committee voted 33-23 last week to require the Pentagon to rename bases and other property within a year.

The Senate’s version of the NDAA, meanwhile, would require the Pentagon to rename bases and other property within three years. The language was added by voice vote when the Senate Armed Services Committee considered the bill last month.

Some Republicans in the Senate are hoping to strip the requirement out of the upper chamber’s NDAA when it finishes consideration of the bill later this month, but an amendment from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to do so faces an uphill climb to getting a vote.

Tags Confederate military bases Donald Trump Josh Hawley
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