Republican senators are reluctant to rename a Senate office building after John McCain, who died Saturday at 81, according to the Associated Press. The Russell Senate Office building is currently named after Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia, a segregationist who served for nearly 4o years and opposed civil-rights legislation including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the AP that he will form a bipartisan panel to brainstorm ways to honor McCain, but did not propose a specific policy. Senators from the South seemed particularly opposed to the renaming plan, which was proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after McCain’s death. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said he’d “rather find another way” than renaming the building. “I think Russell being named Russell is that generation of senators’ message to future generations,” the GOP lawmaker said. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama showed a similar hesitance. “You know Richard Russell was ... from the South, and I’m sure not perfect like George Washington and everybody else in his days, but he was a well-respected senator.”
Some of McCain’s closest allies did not seem completely onboard with naming the building after him. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who worked alongside McCain for 31 years, said he supported “naming almost any building” for McCain, but added, “I’m not sure that I would make a decision on a specific building at this point.” Lindsey Graham suggested renaming the Capitol Visitor Center for McCain instead.