Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) suggested on Monday evening that he will “resist” any efforts to hastily rename the Russell Senate Office Building in honor of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
“I think right now what we have is an opportunity to honor John McCain in the right way,” Perdue the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “So unless somebody presents a case that I’m not aware of, I will resist that.”
Some Democrats and left-wing activists have been urging Senate leaders in recent years to consider renaming the building, named after former Georgia Democrat Richard B. Russell, regarded “as one of the most powerful senators of all time” and “a master of the chamber’s byzantine rules.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who said he would introduce a resolution to rename the building in honor of McCain, said on Monday that though Russell was a “towering figure in the Senate of his day,” he was “nonetheless an avowed opponent of civil rights and the architect of the Southern filibuster that long delayed its passage.”
Schumer said “it would be a fitting tribute to a man who considered his service here in the Senate… the most significant of his distinguished career.” He added that “it’s time that we recognize that as times change, so do our heroes.”
Numerous Democrats-along with Republican Senators like Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)-supported the idea of renaming the Russell Senate Office Building, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declined to take a position.
McConnell said on Tuesday that there are numerous ways to honor McCain, noting that some have suggested that the Armed Services Committee “meet in a committee room named for Sen. McCain.” He also suggested putting together a bipartisan “gang” to determine the best ways to honor McCain.
“As I noted yesterday, the Senate is eager to work on concrete ways to continue this momentum and provide a lasting tribute to this American hero long after this week’s observances are complete,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “In order to make sure we realize these intentions, I’d like to put together an official group that can collaborate and bring together ideas from current members, former colleagues, and friends. It will be bipartisan—as only befits John’s legacy. And come to think of it, we should probably call it not a committee, but a gang. So I’m glad we’ll be able to form this gang to ensure that a suitable, lasting tribute becomes a reality.”