President Donald Trump on Friday said the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), will not change the names of U.S. military bases, despite the bipartisan push to rename posts honoring confederate leaders.
Inhofe has a long history of service to the United States starting with his time in the army and is known for being a staunch supporter of the military.
He “believes that protecting our country is the first function of the federal government, as dictated by the United States Constitution.”
“My effort’s going to be to allow the local communities, the cities, the towns, the states, to participate in whether they want to do this,” Inhofe, told reporters.
A spokesperson for Inhofe’s office did not want to comment if the tweet from the President was correct.
Led by Inhofe, on Thursday, the Senate passed 86-14 vote, the $741 billion defense legislation, despite the threat from President Donald Trump to veto the defense legislation if the amendment forcing the removal of Confederate names from Army bases was included in the bill.
The amendment, proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for a ban of the Confederate flag on the military property—including living quarters, vehicles, and clothing. It also includes a plan to change the names of bases such as Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, which honor men who fought against U.S. troops 155 years ago during the Civil War.
“Over the years, these locations have taken on significance to the American story, and those who have helped write it that far transcends their namesakes,” the statement said.
Warren’s provision is in the House bill, but not in the Senate version. The provision is one of several additional items in the House bill that the White House listed earlier in the week as grounds for a presidential veto.
The versions from the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate must be reconciled before a final version can go to the White House.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) estimated earlier in July that Congress would not complete its work on a final defense bill until November, possibly delaying votes until after the election.
Both legislative chambers had a super-majority with the 86-to-14 Senate vote following the House’s 295-to-125 vote earlier in the week on their versions of the defense legislation, which makes Trump’s ability to veto the bill less likely.