This week: Senators return to mourn McCain
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal Mark Kelly launches Senate bid in Arizona MORE (Ariz.) will loom large over Capitol Hill this week.

Senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Monday, two days after McCain passed away after being diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, over a year ago.

Senators spent the weekend publicly mourning McCain and detailing their favorite memories with the six-term senator, who was deeply respected by colleagues in both parties.


Remembrances poured in from dozens of former and current colleagues, past presidents, heads of state and longtime Senate and campaign aides in the wake of McCain’s death.

"Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order,” former President George W. Bush, who is expected to speak at McCain’s funeral, said as part of his statement.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees GOP leader presses Trump to agree to border deal Trump divides Democrats with warning of creeping socialism MORE (D-Ill.), who worked with McCain on controversial issues like immigration, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that McCain showed “uncommon decency” during his 31 years as a senator.

Senators will gather together late Monday afternoon, as well as during the Tuesday caucus lunches, for the first time since Friday’s announcement that McCain had ended medical treatment and approximately 30 hours later had passed away.

Senators are expected to continue to remember McCain throughout the week.

Though it hasn’t been announced, customarily when a senator dies a black cloth is draped across their desk and flowers placed on top. Senators will also likely come to the floor to give speeches about McCain. 

Meanwhile, Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Christie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects MORE (D-N.Y.) will offer a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after 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,” Schumer said in a statement on Saturday.

It’s unclear if Schumer’s resolution will be allowed to pass, or even come up for a vote. The Russell building is named after former Georgia Democratic Sen. Richard Brevard Russell, who opposed numerous efforts to pass civil rights legislation.

GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (Ariz.) said he wants to be the first GOP co-sponsor of the resolution, calling it a “fitting tribute.”

“There are many other things that we need to do but that's a good one,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Meanwhile, congressional leadership announced on Sunday that McCain will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

First, McCain will lie in state at the Arizona state Capitol on Wednesday, which would have been his 82nd birthday. A memorial service will also be held in Phoenix for McCain on Thursday, according to a schedule of memorial events released by McCain’s office.

McCain will then lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Friday. A formal ceremony is expected to take place around 11 a.m., ahead of a public viewing.

A national memorial service will then be held at the National Cathedral on Saturday ahead of private service and burial on Sunday at U.S. Naval Academy, where McCain will be laid to rest.


Senators are in Washington this week because they failed to get a deal on a package of roughly 17 nominations late last week.

McConnell has filed cloture on twelve district judge nominations as well as the nominations of Richard Clarida to be vice chairman and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve System, Joseph Hunt to be an assistant attorney general and Isabel Patelunas to be the Treasury Department assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis.

McConnell warned last week that he would keep the Senate in to confirm all of the nominees, no matter how long it took.

“No more obstruction, no more delays – it’s time to confirm them all. And the Senate will continue to work right through August until every one of them is confirmed,” he said from the Senate floor.

GOP senators left a closed-door caucus lunch on Thursday effectively saying if the Senate would be in town this week was up to the Democrats but that McConnell had warned them they would likely still be in session.

Senators routinely approve a large package of nominations before leaving for a break.

But Democrats are under intense pressure from outside group activists to slow walk Trump’s nominees, particularly his judicial picks.

“Trump is an unindicted coconspirator and some Dems in the Senate want to respond by cutting a deal with Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE to approve a dozen more Trump judges. Any single Dem has the power to block this deal,” tweeted Brian Fallon, a former Schumer aide, about the prospect of a nominations deal.