On Thursday, Reuters reported that an Arkansas state senator introduced a bill proposing to rename the “Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.” Without mentioning their name directly, Rep. Jason Rapert’s bill would prohibit “naming of public buildings, structures, airports, or facilities” after anyone who is still living or has been in public office within ten years of the facility being completed. While no reports mention it directly, it appears this bill would apply retroactively to the already named airport due to the fight underway of some wanting to keep the name and others demanding it be changed.
“You have a president who was impeached for having an affair with an intern in the Oval Office and then disbarred,” state Sen. Rapert, told Reuters.
The airport just outside of little rock was renamed as Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field four years ago in 2012.
Rapert said he introduced the bill after “several Arkansans across the state” had expressed “discomfort” that the airport was named after the Clintons.
In 1998, then-President Bill Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives who accused him of lying under oath about having sexual relations with White House internet Monica Lewinsky. In the Senate trial the following year, Clinton was acquitted.
After being first lady during Bill Clinton’s presidency, Hillary went on to win a Senate seat in New York and was later appointed as Secretary of State under President Obama. As the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton lost to now President Donald Trump.
While Rapert acknowledged his legislation may not go through, he said “we can prevent this sort of thing in the future.”
Meredith Catlett, a member of the terminal’s governing commission, told Reuters that she doesn’t support changing the name.
“I think the name of the airport is appropriate and I support retaining it,” Catlett said.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola told ArkansasMatters.com that she believes the name doesn’t have a negative impact.
“I happen to think that the naming of the airport as it is doesn’t have any negative impact on our state or on our city,” she said. “As a matter of fact I think it is the opposite.”