The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is evaluating a proposal by Conservative British Member of Parliament Tom Tugendhat to name its new headquarters in Brussels after the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), reports indicated Wednesday.
In a statement to CNN, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the proposition “will be considered carefully,” by the military alliance.
McCain was among Capitol Hill’s staunchest proponent’s of NATO and regularly advocated for the 29-nation alliance to expand to additional European countries. The Arizona lawmaker famously unloaded on fellow senator Rand Paul (R-KY) after he blocked the ratification of a treaty to advance Montenegro’s inclusion into NATO. “The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain fumed in a Senate floor speech. The Balkan country’s accession to the body was finalized in June 2017.
More recently, McCain criticized President Donald Trump following a July meeting with NATO members in which he demanded fellow members increase spending to help shoulder the costs of the alliance. “President Trump’s performance at the NATO summit in Brussels was disappointing, yet ultimately unsurprising. There is little use in parsing the president’s misstatements and bluster, except to say that they are the words of one man,” a statement from the Senator’s office read.
McCain died last Saturday at the age of 81 following a months-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took to Twitter to pay tribute to McCain shortly after his death.
“John McCain – soldier and senator, American and Atlanticist. He will be remembered both in Europe and North America for his courage and character, and as a strong supporter of NATO,” Stoltenberg said in a statement. “My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
John McCain – soldier and senator, American and Atlanticist. He will be remembered both in Europe and North America for his courage and character, and as a strong supporter of NATO. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) August 26, 2018
Tugendhat wrote in a letter to NATO that he would like the organization’s headquarters to bear the name of the Vietnam prisoner of war because “very few people embodied the values that NATO is built on in the way Sen. John McCain III did.”
“There can be no more fitting tribute to his career and the values that Sen. McCain espoused – but also no better message for NATO to send at this time of global tension – than to name its new headquarters building after the American statesman,” added the British lawmaker.
In Washington, D.C., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is proposing legislation to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after McCain, which was named after former Georgia Sen. Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. in 1972. “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,” said Schumer.
Efforts have stalled to rename the Russell Senate Office in memory of McCain after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday announced a bipartisan committee to evaluate potential proposals to honor the late senator.