WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a day after the U.S. Senate voted 86-14 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, which includes a bipartisan amendment directing the Pentagon to establish a process for changing the names of military installations named after pro-slavery Confederate leaders who fought against the United States, President Trump tweeted that he believes he can get the votes to block the bipartisan provision from being included in the final version of the defense bill.  The FY21 NDAA is key to national security, supports our troops and their families, and will strengthen military readiness.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Committee, who helped steer the bipartisan bill through the Senate, says he strongly supports language to establish a process for removing the names of Confederate leaders from military bases and is committed to keeping it in the final bill.

Senator Reed issued the following statement:

“President Trump is out of touch and doesn’t seem to grasp the strong and bipartisan support for dropping the names of white supremacist Confederate officers from bases.  Congress is establishing a thoughtful process that includes local input from our troops, citizens, and the community.  Meanwhile, President Trump’s insistence on glorifying Confederates who fought against the U.S. has no support from the American people and our military.

“Thankfully we live in a democracy.  The conference committee will get together and work its will.  I am confident we’ll send the President a strong bipartisan defense bill that puts America’s security and our troops and their families first.

“After that, President Trump gets to decide if he wants to sign it into law or veto it. 

“Hopefully President Trump will prioritize national security and the needs of today’s servicemen and women over his wrong-headed campaign to fuel division and discord.  I urge him to read up on who these men were, what they believed, and why they fought against the United States.  I urge him to listen to our uniformed and civilian military leaders who know that racism has no place in the ranks and are actively seeking ways to unify and strengthen our forces.

“If President Trump vetoes the defense bill, Congress can vote to override him with a two-thirds majority.  That rarely happens.  But rarer still is an American president who would put the interests of a handful of pro-slavery Confederates above the well-being and national security of the entire nation.


“Nobody wants to erase history.  We want to be truthful and honest about it and build a brighter, more inclusive future that lives up to our nation’s promise and core values.”