Mitch McConnell is caving and so are many in the GOP and it looks like they will break with Trump over renaming military bases.
Trump has said enough with the rewriting history and is adamantly opposed to the practice. The GOP, in a shocker, seems intent on defying Trump and starting a fight over the issue.
But Mitch has tricks up his sleeve so expect them to attach this to a defense bill Trump will be hard-pressed to veto to sneak this past a reluctant Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not oppose renaming U.S. military bases to erase associations with Confederate officers, he told reporters Tuesday.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and descendant of a Confederate soldier, declined to comment on President Trump’s threat to veto an upcoming Defense Department spending authorization bill if it includes a provision to rename several bases named after Confederate officers.
“If it’s appropriate to take another look at these names, I’m personally OK with that,” McConnell told reporters after a closed-door luncheon with fellow Republicans.
McConnell said he is opposed to removing Confederate statues from the Capitol, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on the committee overseeing the National Statuary Hall to remove 11 Confederate figures and may call up a House bill that would also require their removal.
McConnell said Pelosi’s demand “is clearly a bridge too far” and would amount to “airbrushing the Capitol to crop out everybody who had any connection to slavery.”
Eight presidents owned slaves, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, whose statues are located in the Capitol rotunda.
The Republican-led Armed Services Committee last week approved an amendment authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, to remove Confederate names from military bases and other Department of Defense facilities.
The Senate may take up the Defense Department bill in the coming weeks, and the amendment will get a vote on the Senate floor.
“What is ultimately decided on, I don’t have a problem with,” McConnell said.