Defense

Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain

Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress introduced a resolution Thursday to support the effort to name NATO's new headquarters after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died late last month after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

The resolution was led in the Senate by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and in the House by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.).

"John McCain dedicated his life to the defense of freedom," Gallagher said in a statement. "I can think of no more appropriate tribute than naming the headquarters of the free world's foundational alliance in his memory."

NATO confirmed to news outlets last week that it received a proposal to name its new headquarters after McCain, saying the idea would be "considered carefully."

"He will be remembered both in Europe and North America for his courage and character and as a strong supporter of NATO," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said of McCain after his death.

NATO officially moved into the $1.45 billion building in Brussels in April. Naming the new building requires approval from all 29 member countries.

Three former secretary-generals backed the proposal to name it after McCain in a letter to Britain's Times newspaper last week.

McCain was a staunch defender of the transatlantic alliance, and the resolution introduced Thursday runs through several of his more recent passionate quotes on the alliance.

"The price our NATO allies paid in blood, fighting alongside us should never be diminished," the resolution quotes McCain as saying in March 2017. "And we must never forget that America is safer and more secure because it has allies that are willing to step up and share the burden of collective security."

The resolution says that each chamber "strongly supports" naming NATO's headquarters after McCain.

It also "calls on all NATO members to support renaming NATO headquarters after Senator McCain, in recognition of his long and ironclad support for NATO."

The resolution further urges President Trump to support naming the building after McCain and asks him to "direct appropriate officials at the Department of State and the Department of Defense to advocate for their counterparts in NATO member states to support renaming NATO headquarters after Senator McCain."

Trump and McCain had a famously bitter relationship. Trump has also had a rocky relationship with NATO, rattling allies with threats to withdraw from the alliance if they don't increase their defense spending.

Senate co-sponsors of the resolution include Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

The House co-sponsors are Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

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