Senate Republicans are hopeful that President Donald Trump won’t act on his threat of vetoing a defense policy bill because it includes a plan to rename military bases named after Confederate generals.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News on Wednesday he hopes Trump won’t veto the nearly $741 billion bill.
“I would hope the president really wouldn't veto the bill over this issue,” McConnell said. “I hope the president will reconsider vetoing the entire defense bill, which includes pay raises for our troops, over a provision in there that could lead to changing the names.”
Part of the bill, which has bipartisan support, includes a measure by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., that mandates the secretary of defense to rename military bases and other buildings named after Confederate soldiers.
Trump has vehemently opposed renaming any military bases and has threatened to veto the entire bill over the topic.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he wouldn’t vote against the bill because of the renaming provision, The Hill reports.
“I personally don’t have any problem with renaming bases. We have plenty of American military heroes that we can rename these things after,” Rubio said. “The NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] is so important and [has] so many important elements in it that I don’t believe that alone should be enough reason to either vote against it or veto it.”
Several Republicans say they back changing the names and think the president’s veto would be a mistake.
“I would support changing the names of bases that were named in honor of Confederate generals. Those individuals fought against the United States of America and we should instead be honoring people who fought for the United States of America,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., told reporters she plans to vote for the bill with or without Warren’s provision.
“I would hope the president wouldn’t veto it,” she said. “It’s a bipartisan effort to arm our military and arm our defenses,” she said.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., agreed, saying the NDAA needs to be signed into law.
If Trump continues to threaten a veto to the bill, lawmakers can hold off on sending it to the president’s desk until after the Nov. 3 general election.
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