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Schumer to Introduce Resolution Renaming Russell Senate Building After McCain

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) stop to talk on Capitol Hill on Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said today he’ll be introducing a resolution to rename one of the Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill after late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

McCain, 81, passed away today at his home in Sedona, Ariz., 13 months after announcing that he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

The building is currently named for former Sen. Richard Russell Jr. (D-Ga.), who was president pro tempore of the Senate when he died in 1971. There have been calls to rename the office building for years as Russell was a segregationist who led a Southern boycott of the Democratic National Convention after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

“As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them. His dedication to his country and the military were unsurpassed, and maybe most of all, he was a truth teller – never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare. The Senate, the United States, and the world are lesser places without John McCain,” Schumer said in a statement this event.

“Nothing will overcome the loss of Senator McCain, but so that generations remember him I will be introducing a resolution to rename the Russell building after him,” Schumer added.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called McCain’s passing “a deeply sad day for the Senate and for our nation.”

“In an era filled with cynicism about national unity and public service, John McCain’s life shone as a bright example. He showed us that boundless patriotism and self-sacrifice are not outdated concepts or clichés, but the building blocks of an extraordinary American life,” McConnell said.

“It is fitting that this war hero and history-changing legislator should leave us as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. John was a constant advocate for his fellow veterans and those currently serving in uniform, standing up for the benefits and care they so earned by defending our freedom,” he added. “His dedication to them is just one reason among so many why he earned the utmost respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

McCain’s best friend in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), tweeted, “America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions. ….And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor.”

“I will need some time to absorb this, but I want Cindy —and the entire McCain family — to know they are in my prayers,” he added.

Under Arizona law, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will name McCain’s successor to serve until the 2020 election. The winner then will serve the remainder of McCain’s term, until the 2022 election.

Tributes to McCain poured in from both sides of the aisle, from lawmakers past and present.

“John and I both ended our final call a few weeks ago by telling each other, ‘I love you,’ and that was how we felt about one another,” tweeted former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in May. “There will never be another John McCain.”