Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and 35 other Senate Democrats introduced new legislation Wednesday calling for the removal of Confederate names and displays from military bases, buildings, and other property controlled or owned by the Department of Defense.
The bill, known as the “Removing Confederate Names and Symbols from Our Military Act of 2020,” gives the Defense Department one year to eliminate the Confederate displays — with the exception of grave markers – and prohibits the erection of any new ones.
“[N]ot later than one year after the date of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America … or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense,” the bill says.
The bill forbids Confederate names and other displays on “any base, installation, street, building, facility, aircraft, ship, plane, weapon, equipment, or any other property owned or controlled by the Department of Defense.”
The GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) previously approved a bipartisan measure that called for removal of Confederate names and displays within three years.
"Senate Democrats are putting forward legislation to change the names of our bases and other military assets within one year because we need to stop honoring this ugly legacy immediately," Warren said in a statement. "SASC has already passed a version of my proposal in the annual defense bill — and Senate Republicans should make sure that bipartisan compromise stays intact."
President Trump opposed Warren’s bill when she first announced it earlier this month, tweeting that Warren “just introduced an Amendment on the renaming of many of our legendary Military Bases from which we trained to WIN two World Wars” and hoping that “our great Republican Senators won’t fall for this!”
U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has already signaled interest in changing the names of 10 Army bases named after confederates after the protests.