House Democrats’ version of the annual defense spending bill would give the Army $1 million to help remove Confederate names from bases and other property.
The bill would set aside $1 million from the Army’s operations and maintenance account to use on “expenses for the renaming of Army installations, facilities, roads and streets named after confederate leaders and officers,” according to draft text released by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
The provision is included in the $694.6 billion Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2021 that the House Appropriations defense subcommittee is scheduled to consider behind closed doors Wednesday.
A Democratic summary of the bill said the money would be provided because “the Army has the preponderance of the entities to change.” The Army has 10 bases named after Confederate military officers.
It’s the latest move in Congress to nudge or require the Pentagon to rename properties that have Confederate monikers as President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE continues to express opposition to the move.
Amid nationwide protest on racial injustices that reignited debates about Confederate symbols, the Army said last month it was open to renaming the bases. But days later, Trump said he would “not even consider” changing the names.
Trump has also threatened to veto a defense policy bill if it includes a requirement to rename the bases.
Both the House and the Senate versions of the policy bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), include such a requirement. The House version would require the bases to be renamed in one year, while the Senate version would require it to happen within three years.
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 HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySchumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks Dems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee DHS chief 'horrified' by images at border MORE (R-Mo.) to do that faces an uphill climb to getting a vote.
Meanwhile, a separate spending bill from House Democrats that covers military construction would block funding for construction projects at bases that have Confederate names unless the properties are in the process of being renamed.