A battle is brewing in Washington: President Trump has vowed to Republican lawmakers that he will veto the legislation to pass the Defense Department’s budget bill unless a bipartisan provision to rename military bases that honor Confederate military leaders is removed, according to inside sources.

Since the November 3rd election, President Trump has frequently told Republicans close to the administration that he will not back down on his vow to veto the 2021 annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) if it includes the aforementioned amendment. 

This has created trouble between Democratic leaders. They now weigh the option of having the 2021 NDAA vetoed by the president and then having to force the issue with President Trump thus possibly losing bipartisan support, or agreeing to axing the language and ensuring the $740 billion bill is passed on time.

Some Democrats are worried that House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith is more concerned with a timely passage of the defense budget than eliminating what they characterize as a shameful reminder of the Civil War.  

Smith bristled at the suggestion calling it “absolutely not true,” but also said it is important to get this piece of legislation passed before the end of the year. 

“I have no intention whatsoever of dropping this in order to get a bill passed,” Smith said to the press. “We’ll have to see what offers are made and what’s out there.”

“It’s not just the CBC or leadership. It’s a pretty strong caucus position that the bases ought to be renamed,” Smith added. “There is no justification at this point in our history to continue to have bases renamed after people who rose up in armed rebellion against the United States in order to preserve slavery.”

The defense budget bill has been passing every year for the past 59 years. This is a rarity in the days of a deeply polarized Congress.