Months after the death of Sen. John McCain, a push to rename a Senate office building in his honor has failed to gain steam.
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “clammed up when asked what happened.” The Washington Times reported.
Schumer joined the nostalgic tributes to the Republican senator who died in August at the age of 81, writing “The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain,” in a tweet. He also promised he was introducing legislation to rename the Russell Senate Building after his colleague.
The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain.
Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 26, 2018
The Senate’s oldest office building was named in the 1970s after the former Georgia Democrat who was opposed to the Civil Rights Act. But plans to replace his name with that of McCain seem to have lost their way as the promised resolution from the New York Democrat was never introduced.
Republicans like Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee were reportedly behind the idea though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested a bipartisan committee should look at other options to honor McCain.
“His office said it is still in touch with McCain’s family and some senators but isn’t ready to announce anything,” the Times reported.
Outgoing Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who was in favor of the plan, blamed fellow Republicans for the failed plan.
“We need a lot more support if we were going to do it,” he said.
Matt Bennett, co-founder of the think tank Third Way, found a way to blame President Donald Trump for the lack of progress on the plan, stating that the name change failed “like almost every other good, worthy idea in Trump’s Washington.”
“Rather than rename the building for an American hero and Senate titan, we are left with a monument to bigotry and civil rights obstructionism. It’s appalling, but it’s not surprising,” he said. “A human rights commission sounds like it might be a good idea. But John McCain deserves something big and chiseled in granite.”
According to The Washington Times:
McCain, who often confounded colleagues in life, continues to do so in death as senators search for an acceptable honor.
They named the annual defense policy bill after him just before his death. But that’s almost a pedestrian honor at this point, with plenty of lawmakers liked by their colleagues getting similar treatment on legislation that was dear to them.
Sens. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, and Thom Tillis, North Carolina Republican, have suggested enhancing an existing bipartisan human-rights caucus in the Senate, turning it into a commission and naming it after McCain.
While the McCain commission legislation has not yet made it out of committee, the late Arizona senator has been bestowed with some honors, some even before his death.
One of the terminals of Sky Harbor International Airport was voted to be named after him by the Phoenix City Council last year, the Times reported. And just weeks before his death, the Navy announced that the John McCain guided-missile destroyer would continue to bear the name, having carried the names of McCain’s father and grandfather, both admirals.
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