WASHINGTON (WAVY) — So far, President Donald Trump is eight-for-eight on vetoes. Congress has never been able to override him on legislation he didn’t want.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, says that streak is about to end in the battle of the bases.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have passed bills calling for the removal of the names of Confederate generals from military installations.
The provision to remove the Confederate names is expected to be part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which serves as a spending plan for the military.
“I am very confident that if President Trump were to veto the NDAA over the Confederate naming provision, that he would then have his first veto overridden by Congress,” Kaine said in a Wednesday interview.
With Fort Lee, Fort Pickett and Fort AP Hill, Virginia has more of these bases than any other state.
North Carolina has Fort Bragg.
A recent Military Times Poll of both enlisted members and officers showed 49 percent want the bases to be renamed, 37 percent disagreed.
But the big number in the battle over base names right now is 67 percent. That’s what’s needed — a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate — to override a Trump veto.
“Based on the vote on this in each chamber, he would be overridden on this,” Kaine said.
The president has said removing the generals’ names would be re-writing history, and would replace the legacy of an American revolution with a left-wing cultural revolution. The NDAA also provides for a pay raise for troops, healthcare assistance for military families, and investments in platforms of national defense, which Kaine says would be put in limbo with a veto.
“If the president says none of that’s important, what’s important to me is keeping the names of Confederate generals on military bases, and so he vetoes all the good to accomplish that, I predict that he will have his veto overridden.”
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