The Trump administration has threatened to veto the National Defence Authorisation Act in its current form. The White House said the bill would constrain the president’s authority on security and noted that it objects to the legislation’s requirement to rename military institutions and limit funds for the US military campaign in Afghanistan.
According to an amendment to the National Defence Authorization Act proposed by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, the Pentagon would have to change the names of 10 US military bases named after Confederate generals.Warren’s amendment was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee despite the fact Trump called on Republicans to oppose it. The senator said it was high time to end the "tribute to white supremacy" at US military installations and honour the contributions of "Black, Brown, Native & women service members" and others who have served in the military.
The White House said the proposal was part of a "sustained effort to erase from the history of the nation those who do not meet an ever-shifting standard of conduct".
The issue has polarised legislators, with one side supporting the view of President Trump, and the other backing Warren’s amendment. Trump threatened to veto the act at the beginning of July. In a series of statements posted on his Twitter account, the president noted that he wouldn’t even consider renaming the 10 military bases.
"Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with", Trump wrote in a statement.
The calls for renaming buildings and streets named after Confederate leaders started following a huge wave of protests against racial discrimination and police brutality in the United States. They were sparked by the death of African-American man George Floyd, who died at the hands of a white police officer. His death reignited longstanding debate about mistreatment of African-Americans in the United States, with protesters removing Confederate statues and signs from public property.
Donald Trump has criticised these actions and vowed to preserve the country’s federal monuments and statues, signing an order that calls for the prosecution of anyone who damages the property.