The late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, were honored Wednesday with the 2018 Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership at a Capitol Hill event.
“These two incredible patriots really stood together,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
McCain, the longtime chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, died Aug. 25 after a 13-month battle with brain cancer. His final year was a political tour de force, railing against President Donald Trump’s nationalistic policies, defense budget cuts, wasteful Pentagon spending, a murky shift in war strategy and the non-combat deaths of servicemembers.
Klobucher said she misses McCain “every day.”
In her final visit with him, Klobucher said he struggled to speak, but he pointed out a line in a book that read, “There’s nothing in life more liberating than fighting for a cause greater than yourself.” It was a theme that could be final words for everyone, she said.
Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., recalled McCain’s courage and passion. He told about the time that McCain told him that he had a “fun” idea to form a “Gang of Eight” to focus on immigration reform.
“He lied,” Flake said to laughter. “It was rewarding and great, but it wasn’t much fun.”
Ben Domenech, a conservative writer who is married to the late senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, accepted the award on behalf of his late father-in-law.
Reed, an Army veteran, used the award as an opportunity to honor McCain, a Navy veteran, and recalled the times that they would attend the annual Navy-Army football game together.
“Tonight, you honor a great man,” Reed said.
The Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership was established by the Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation to honor public servants whose achievements advance the public interest without regard to political affiliation, the group said.
McCain and Reed followed in the footsteps of the late Sen. Jacob Javits, a New York Republican who served in Congress for more than 30 years to forge bipartisan solutions, they said.
Other groups involved in the honors included Results for America and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
© 2018 the Stars and Stripes
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