GOP lawmakers demand Pentagon stop removal of Confederate memorial in Arlington National Cemetery

FIRST ON FOX: House Republicans are aiming to block the Pentagon from removing a Confederate memorial from Arlington National Cemetery. A group of GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday demanding he keep the Reconciliation Monument, also known as the Confederate Memorial, in place until the end of the fiscal year 2024 appropriations process. The monument was slated for removal by the Pentagon’s Naming Commission, a panel tasked with renaming and removing military installations named after the Confederacy in the wake of the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. But Clyde argued that the memorial was dedicated to American unity following the Civil War rather than honoring the Confederacy, and that it would desecrate the graves of Confederate troops buried there.  US MILITARY CARRIES OUT AIRSTRIKES ON FACILITIES IN SYRIA OPERATED BY IRANIAN-BACKED FORCES “Despite bipartisan support for this monument, the Naming Commission, established by the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, clearly overstepped its legislative authority when it recommended that the Department of the Army remove the Reconciliation Monument from Arlington National Cemetery,” the lawmakers wrote. “[T]he Reconciliation Monument does not honor nor commemorate the Confederacy; the memorial commemorates reconciliation and national unity. WORLD WAR II VETERAN, 103, RETURNS TO PEARL HARBOR 82 YEARS AFTER JAPAN’S ATTACK TO HONOR FALLEN COMRADES “Furthermore, the Naming Commission’s authority explicitly prohibits the desecration of grave sites. Considering the hundreds of gravestones encircling the monument, it would be impossible for these graves to remain untouched if the Department of the Army proceeds with its proposed removal of the monument – both being a clear violation of Congress’ enacted statute and legislative intent.” Clyde, a Navy combat veteran, was joined on the letter by 43 other House Republicans including Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala. The memorial was unveiled in 1914 by then-President Woodrow Wilson, after being commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Congress had authorized the reinternment of Confederate remains to Arlington National Cemetery just 14 years prior. It’s slated to be moved to a site owned by the Virginia Military Institute, according to local outlet Cardinal News. SO LONG FORT BRAGG, WELCOME FORT LIBERTY: THE PENTAGON’S NAMING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS TAKE EFFECT In their letter on Monday, Republicans called for the process to be paused until Congress can agree to a funding deal, citing an amendment offered by Clyde to the defense spending bill that would stop the statue’s removal altogether if passed. “The Department of Defense must respect Congress’ clear legislative intentions regarding the Naming Commission’s legislative authority, and to move forward with removal of the Reconciliation Monument would be a clear affront to the separation of powers principles outlined by our Founding Fathers in our Constitution,” they wrote. The Pentagon is currently being sued by a group called Defend Arlington, representing ancestors of Confederate veterans and others, over the statue’s removal. Fox News Digital reached out to the Pentagon for comment.
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