Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, signaled he was open to removing the names of Confederate generals from U.S. military bases.
The Senate majority whip told reporters that perhaps, in the wake of nationwide protests over the police killings of black men and women, the bases should be named after other historical figures.
“I think you have to periodically take a look at that,” Thune said. “In this case, it’s perhaps time to do it.”
Thune, the second-ranking Senate Republican, says of renaming bases named after Confederate generals:
"I think you have to periodically take a look at that. In this case, it's perhaps time to do it."
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) June 16, 2020
President Donald Trump has stated that he opposes changing those names, but the Senate’s Armed Services Committee inserted a mandate in a defense authorization bill requiring the Pentagon to remove Confederate names, monuments and symbols within three years.
Thune has said changing the mandate would require 60 votes unless a deal was reached with Democrats before the bill comes to the floor in two weeks.
Asked if a Trump veto threat matters, he said: "Obviously that's not something that you trifle with."
"We have to proceed here and right now we've got a provision in the bill that, at least for right now, looks like that's going to be maybe the new position"
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) June 16, 2020