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House passes defense bill with provision to remove Confederate names from bases

July 21 (UPI) -- The House on Tuesday approved its annual defense policy bill including a provision to remove Confederate names from military bases that President Donald Trump has vowed to veto.

The fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act was approved by a vote of 295-125, setting up negotiations for the House and Senate on a final version of the bill that will be sent to Trump.

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As part of the bill, Congress would allocate $740.5 billion to authorize a 3% pay raise for troops, establish a $3.6 billion fund for measures against China in the Indo-Pacific region and provide $1 billion to the Pentagon to assist with pandemic preparedness.

It also calls for the production of a report on the threat of the Taliban and the impacts of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

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The version of the bill passed by the House also includes language requiring the Pentagon to rename bases and other military properties named after Confederate military officers within a year.

A version of the bill in the Senate includes similar requirements with a deadline of three years.

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Trump tweeted last week that he would veto the bill if it included the provision to rename the bases and on Tuesday the White House said the president's advisers would recommend that he veto the bill, citing "serious concerns" about various provisions in the bill.

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"The administration strongly objects to section 2829, which would require renaming of certain military institutions," the Office of Management and Budget said. "It also has serious concerns about provisions of the bill that seek to micromanage aspects of the executive branch's authority, impose highly prospective limitations on the use of funds for Afghanistan and otherwise constrain the president's authority to protect national security interests."

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