GOP senator wary of renaming building for McCain

A Republican senator says renaming the Russell Senate Office Building for the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us MORE (R-Ariz.) would set a bad precedent.

“I'd rather find another way,” Louisiana Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan senators unveil proposal to crack down on surprise medical bills Outdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers MORE told reporters on Tuesday. “What I don't want is to establish a precedent so that something named after John McCain is named after somebody else in the future.”

 “This is a question of making sure that however John is honored it is set in stone that John is always honored. I don't want to establish a precedent that we can unhonor somebody in the future,” Cassidy added, noting that he would discuss the matter with fellow GOP senators at a weekly luncheon meeting.

Shortly after McCain died on Saturday after a year-long battle with brain cancer, Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.), proposed renaming the building in honor of the six-term Arizona senator, who for decades had an office on the 2nd floor of the building, which was originally called the “Old Senate Building” and renamed for Georgia Sen. Richard Russell (D) in 1972.

Fellow Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Key GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Gillibrand: Kavanaugh accuser shouldn't participate in 'sham' hearing MORE joined the effort, telling reporters on Tuesday that he and Schumer sent a letter to their colleagues floating the idea.

“This is hardly precedent to rename buildings and items. I think that we ought to honor John McCain appropriately there are many ways to do it. This would be in my view a good one,” Flake said when asked to respond to Cassidy’s concern.

"I think that Sen. McCain is the right person to honor by renaming this building,” Democratic Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsJudiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Sunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed MORE (Del.), one of McCain’s friends in the upper chamber, said. “It’s where the Armed Services Committee he chaired has its office, it's where his offices were and I think that as a man who dedicated six terms in the Senate to serving the Senate that this would be a perfect and appropriate gesture to memorialize the service here.”

Other GOP senators, however, deferred to a process proposed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE. The Kentucky Republican wants to create a bipartisan group that can come up with a variety of ways to honor McCain’s service.

“The leader's suggestion is a good one, put together a ‘gang’ that will look at appropriate ways to memorialize John's contribution,” Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump assures storm victims in Carolinas: 'We will be there 100 percent' Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas Graham: Mueller is going to be allowed to finish investigation MORE (R-N.C.) said, noting that renaming the Russell building is "one of the issues.”

 “I'll be anxious to see what the rest of the issues are that the gang brings up and what might be appropriate,” he added.

 Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTrump privately calls Mattis ‘Moderate Dog’: report Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Steady Kavanaugh proves to be a tough target for Democrats MORE (R-Okla.) who calls McCain a “hero,” and will likely fill McCain’s role as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said "we'll be looking at that for the next three or four weeks, I understand, and during that time I think we want to see try to analyze what would John want.” 

— Molly Hooper