June 24, 2020

Shaheen, Hassan Join Senate Democrats on Legislation to Rename Bases & Other Military Assets Named for the Confederacy Within One Year

This Month, Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee Passed Bipartisan Version of the Proposal Supported by Shaheen to Rename Bases and All Military Assets within Three Years

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee – introduced legislation today with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and 34 Senate Democrats, led by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), requiring the Pentagon to remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America and anyone who voluntarily served it from all military bases and other assets of the Department of Defense. The Pentagon must rename the assets within one year. The legislation is a standalone bill, based on Warren’s amendment – which Senator Shaheen supported – that was added to the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) earlier this month.

 

“The naming of military bases is a position of honor and should be reserved for American heroes who embodied our values. It is long overdue that we right an egregious wrong and rename our military installations,” said Senator Shaheen. “There was bipartisan support to address this in the defense authorization bill and I’ll continue to fight to see this effort through the Senate. We should seize this opportunity to remove shameful reminders of our nation’s darkest past and replace them with true American heroes.”

 

“The names of those who fought against the United States of America for the Confederacy should be relegated to history books, not honored on our military bases,” said Senator Hassan. “As we continue to work to live up to our nation’s highest ideals of equality and justice for all, removing Confederate names from military bases is a long-overdue step.”  

 

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) passed a bipartisan version of the amendment to remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy and anyone who voluntarily served it from bases and other property of the U.S. military within three years. The proposal also creates a process for identifying all military assets where the Confederacy is honored and implementing the new removal requirement. After the bipartisan proposal was adopted, Senator Shaheen joined Senator Warren, SASC Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) along with other SASC Democrats to urge President Donald Trump to support it. 

 

The Removing Confederate Names and Symbols from Our Military Act will: 

 

  • Require the Secretary of Defense to 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. Grave markers will be exempted.
  • Define the term ‘‘asset’’ to include any base, installation, street, building, facility, aircraft, ship, plane, weapon, equipment, or any other property owned or controlled by the Department of Defense.
  • Require the Secretary of Defense to submit a certification in writing to SASC and the House Armed Services Committee detailing that removal has been completed.
  • Prohibit the future display of any name, symbol, display, monument or paraphernalia that honors or commemorates the Confederate States of America or any person who served voluntarily. 

 

Bill text of the legislation is available here.

 

The Removing Confederate Names and Symbols from Our Military Act is also co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO.), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Robert Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tom Udall (D-NM), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). 

 

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