Senate

McConnell forming 'gang' to determine how Senate honors McCain

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that he is forming a bipartisan committee tasked with determining how the Senate will honor the late GOP Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). 

"I'd like to put together an official group that can elaborate and bring together ideas from current members, former colleagues and friends. It will be bipartisan as only benefits John's legacy, and come to think of it, [I] would probably call it not a committee but a gang," McConnell said from the Senate floor, referencing McCain's participation in groups including the "Gang of 14" and the "Gang of Eight." 

McConnell later told reporters that he'd be "appointing a group on a bipartisan basis to convene after Labor Day and to think thoroughly through the appropriate way to honor our colleague."

Though McCain's death has sparked bipartisan mourning on Capitol Hill, where the 81-year-old senator was deeply respected by both parties, senators have yet to rally around the best way to remember him.  

"The Senate is eager to work on concrete ways to ... provide a lasting tribute to this American hero long after this week's observances are complete," McConnell said on Tuesday. 

The Senate GOP leader noted that some have suggested naming the room of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which McCain chaired, after the GOP senator.  

Others, he said, have suggested putting McCain's portrait in a room directly off the Senate chamber, where only seven senators have their portraits hung.  

"It's a further tribute to our colleague that there's no shortage of good ideas," McConnell said. 

But Democrats, as well as some Republicans, are lining up behind renaming the Senate Russell Office Building after McCain. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) are drafting a resolution to rename the building. 

But GOP senators have been lukewarm to the idea. 

McConnell demurred on Monday when asked if he would support it, noting senators would be discussing how to honor McCain. 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said on Monday that there would likely be a "discussion" and suggested the Rules Committee could take up the issue.

- Alexander Bolton contributed

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