On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act with a vote of 86-14. The $740 billion bill setting policy for the Pentagon that President Donald Trump has threatened to veto over a provision removing Confederate names from military bases.
The House of Representatives also passed its version of the NDAA earlier this week with far more than the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a veto. The House bill also included a provision to change the names of military facilities named after generals who fought on the pro-slavery side during the Civil War 155 years ago. Tributes to the Confederacy, and slave owners – like base names and statues – have come under increasing scrutiny amid widespread protests over racial injustice sparked by police killings of Black Americans.
Now, congressional negotiators will meet behind closed doors to negotiate a final, compromise NDAA, reconciling differences between the two. That compromise must pass both chambers before it can be sent for Trump’s signature or veto.