Military pay raise at risk in dispute over bases named for Confederate officers – By Andrew Taylor (The Associated Press) / Nov 19 2020
WASHINGTON — An annual defense policy measure that has passed Congress every year since the Kennedy administration is in danger of cratering next month over a move by Democrats to rename military bases, such as Fort Benning, that are named after Confederate officers.
President Donald Trump opposes renaming bases like Fort Hood and has threatened to veto the popular measure over the provision, which was added to both the House and Senate versions of the so-called defense authorization bill this summer.
Republicans are vowing they will not send the broader bill to Trump if it includes language requiring bases named after Confederate officers to be renamed. Trump used the debate this summer to appeal to Southern voters nostalgic about the Confederacy, and those appeals remain relevant now due to two Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the chamber during the first two years of President-elect Joe Biden’s tenure.
“I am concerned that there is at least the potential that political concerns, especially with the Georgia runoffs, are going to play a bigger role,” said top House Armed Services Committee Republican Mac Thornberry of Texas. “I have no doubt that we can reach an agreement. The question is whether the politics above us will allow us to.”