A bipartisan group of lawmakers has revived an effort to create a human rights commission in honor of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), according to The Hill.
The commission would host hearings on human rights issues and seek to partner with the Trump administration and non-profit organizations to violations around the globe. Last December, Senate Human Rights Caucus co-chairs Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) introduced a bill to name the body after the Arizona Republican.
“Senator McCain was a remarkable man who used his role in the Senate to advocate for human rights and to stand up for people around the world who were denied basic freedoms. He embodied our country’s values and understood the critical role of the United States in promoting human rights across the globe,” Coons said in a statement at the time.
In February, a measure to create the commission was reintroduced and attracted the support of Cindy McCain, the former lawmaker’s widow, who wrote in a tweet that she was “grateful” for lawmakers supporting the initiative: “Grateful to @ChrisCoons & @SenThomTillis, along w/ @SenJeffMerkley, @SenMarkey, @marcorubio & @SenatorSinema, for re-introducing leg. to establish the John McCain Human Rights Commission. The U.S. must lead on human rights. What a wonderful way to honor my husband’s legacy.”
Grateful to @ChrisCoons & @SenThomTillis, along w/ @SenJeffMerkley, @SenMarkey, @marcorubio & @SenatorSinema, for re-introducing leg. to establish the John McCain Human Rights Commission. The U.S. must lead on human rights. What a wonderful way to honor my husband’s legacy.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) February 27, 2019
Later this week, lawmakers aim to include an amendment that would create the commission when debate begins on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been studying other ways to honor McCain’s legacy. In March, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced he would revive a plan to rename the Russell Senate Office building after McCain, restarting the effort first proposed following the longtime lawmaker’s passing last August, though the proposal appears to still be stalled.
McCain shared a rocky relationship with President Donald Trump during his final term in Congress. The Arizona Republican famously voted twice to save Obamacare — first in July 2017 and then against the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal effort the following September. He was used as a conduit to pass the discredited Steele dossier on to the FBI. President Trump has long said he was never a “fan” of McCain and called his vote against repealing Obamacare “disgraceful.”