Reaction from Johns Hopkins University’s Wendy Osefu and American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp.
The White House is expected to announce that President Trump intends to veto the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act if it includes an amendment on renaming military bases currently named after Confederate leaders.
This echoes past threats from the president, who has vocally opposed renaming sites with long histories such as Fort Bragg, which honors Confederate general Braxton Bragg.
“I don’t care what the military says. I do – I’m supposed to make the decision,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that aired Sunday. “Fort Bragg is a big deal. We won two World Wars, nobody even knows General Bragg. We won two World Wars. Go to that community where Fort Bragg is, in a great state, I love that state, go to the community, say how do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg, and then what are we going to name it? We’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton?”
Lawmakers from both parties have expressed skepticism over whether Trump would follow through with such a threat, given that the NDAA provides for pay raises for members of the armed services.
“Let me predict that President Trump will not veto a bill that contains pay raises for our troops and crucial support for our military,” Senate Minority Leader Chuch Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor earlier this month.
During Sunday’s interview, Trump said that servicemembers will “get their pay raise.”
Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman also remained confident that the president will sign.
“The President has made his position incredibly clear on this. And so from the department’s perspective, we are confident that the administration and Congress will reach an agreement,” Hoffman said. “They understand the importance of the NDAA. We’re confident that there will be an agreement and the NDAA will be signed and implemented on time so that we can have a budget for forces.”
The NDAA will likely not reach the president’s desk until November, after the election, as the House and Senate, which each have their own versions of the bill, still have to come up with a single, unified version.
Fox News’ John Roberts, Chad Pergram, and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.