Republican-led Senate committee approves amendment to rename military bases in closed-door session
Republican Senator Josh Hawley opposed the amendment authorizing a commission on name changes to bases, saying 'Congress should not be mandating renaming of our bases'
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The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $740 billion 2021 defense authorization bill on Wednesday that establishes a commission that would make recommendations on renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders and implement the plan within three years from the date the bill becomes law.
According to the office of the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed, the committee passed an amendment by voice vote during a closed-door session that would create "a commission to study and provide recommendations" concerning the removal of "names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America."
The Rhode Island lawmaker's office told Just the News on Thursday that the amendment would require the commission to enact an "implementation plan" that includes the "cost and criteria for renaming, among other procedures" and that the plan would have to take effect "within three years after enactment."
The amendment was approved during a "secret level" markup session that concluded on Wednesday evening. The full text of the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has not been made available yet. Warren's office was not available for comment. The office of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) also did not respond before publication.
Inhofe reportedly said on Thursday that he would seek to change the language of the amendment so that renaming the military bases would not be a congressional requirement.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted on Thursday that he opposed the amendment and "spoke against it" during the closed-door, full committee markup of the defense bill.
"Congress should not be mandating renaming of our bases and military installations," he wrote.
The House Armed Services Committee has a hearing scheduled in July for the defense authorization bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Democratic leaders might include renaming military bases and removing Confederate statues from the Capitol as part of the defense bill or as standalone legislation.
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