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 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 (R-Ariz.) would set a bad precedent.

“I'd rather find another way,” Louisiana Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyIvanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation Bipartisan senators ask industry for information on surprise medical bills Virginia abortion bill reignites national debate 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 SchumerHouse Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall Trump says he 'didn't need to' declare emergency but wanted 'faster' action 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 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 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 CoonsTrump got in Dem’s face over abortion at private meeting: report Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Actor Chris Evans meets with Democratic senators before State of the Union 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 McConnellGreen New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire Coulter defends Paul Ryan: This is 100 percent Trump's fault 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 BurrThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Cohen to testify before three congressional panels before going to prison 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 InhofeOn The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency Foreign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option' 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