It is time to talk about renaming military bases honoring Confederate figures, John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Tuesday, The Hill reported.
"I think you reevaluate, given the timing and circumstances and where we are in the country, who we want to revere ... by naming military installations and other national monuments," the South Dakota senator said. “And so I think you have to periodically take a look at that and, in this case, it's perhaps time to do it."
Thune became the highest-ranking Republican to indicate that he could be open to the idea of changing the base names.
"My guess is that this is a debate whose time has probably come, and I think that we need to listen to where people in the country are right now,” Thune said. "At the time, maybe it made some sense based on where the country [was], but the country's in a different place today."
The demand to rename American military bases honoring Confederate leaders has gained momentum following protests over the killing of George Floyd last month in police custody.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has spearheaded an amendment requiring such name changes in the National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate is expected to take up soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet declared his stance on the issue.
President Donald Trump warned he would veto a bill that required changing the names, but Thune said that opposition wasn’t insurmountable.
"Maybe, in time, you know the president's position on that based on what he's hearing and kind of where Congress ends up on this, he may end up, who knows, modifying that," Thune said.
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