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The GOP-held Senate is handing President Trump a defeat that's not going to go over well with his base.
The Senate voted 84-13 on Friday to defeat a filibuster holding up passage of the $741 billion defense bill, which includes a provision that mandates removing Confederate names from military bases. A Senate vote later Friday to officially pass the bill will be similarly overwhelming, CNN's Manu Raju reports, invalidating President Trump's promise to veto it.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had filibustered the National Defense Authorization Act, passed every year to fund the Pentagon, over provisions that would make it harder for Trump to reduce troops in Afghanistan and Germany, Military Times reports. He also clotheslined a stopgap funding measure meant to prevent a government shutdown for another week as Congress continues to debate coronavirus relief and a government funding bill. The House has already overwhelmingly passed both the stopgap measure and the defense bill.
Trump has been pledging for months that he'd reject the defense bill if it included a provision to rename military bases named after Confederate leaders. Discussions over renaming the bases swelled over the summer during protests against police brutality and America's systemic racism. Trump has insisted that the Confederate names actually represent America's "history of winning, victory, and freedom," despite basic facts about the Civil War that would suggest otherwise.
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