Menendez, Booker, Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Rename Bases & Other Military Assets Named for the Confederacy Within One Year

Menendez, Booker, Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Rename Bases & Other Military Assets Named for the Confederacy Within One Year

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, along with 34 Democratic colleagues, introduced legislation requiring the Pentagon to remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America from all military bases and other assets of the Department of Defense within one year.

“At a time when our nation is finally grappling with its ugly history of racism, inequality and injustice, we must too recognize and honor the service men and women of all races and ethnicities who serve the United States and defend our freedoms around the world by removing symbols erected to glorify slavery and white supremacy,” Sen. Menendez said. “And we should not wait a minute longer to do it.” 

“The U.S. military is a revered institution because it stands for the best of American ideals – freedom, democracy, and equality – and fights to defend them every day, in every corner of the world,” said Senator Booker. “That is why it must remove the symbols of an era that tried to preserve and uphold slavery, a cruel and inhumane era of American history. Not doing so would be an affront to the values that service members sacrifice to protect and preserve.”

Earlier this month, the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) passed a bipartisan version of an amendment offered by Sen. Elizabeth Warner (D-Mass.) 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.

The Removing Confederate Names and Symbols from Our Military Act, is co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai'i), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Conn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). 

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.

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