Politics

GOP Rep Says Being In Congress Not Enough To Have A Ship Named After You

(U.S, Navy photo courtesy of Austal U.S.A./Released)

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Being a congressman is not significant enough to have a Navy ship named after you, according to one Republican.

Rep. Steven Palazzo proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act Tuesday that would prevent the Navy from naming ships after a member of Congress, unless that congressman or woman has served in the military or went on to become president, The Washington Post reported. Two Navy ships are in the process of being named after Democratic congressman, who would not qualify under Palazzo’s rules.

Earlier this year, the Navy proposed to name two ships after Reps. Carl Levin and John Lewis. Levin served as Senate Committee on Armed Services chairman and retired from the Senate in 2015. Lewis, who marched to Selma, Ala., alongside Martin Luther King Jr., has been lauded for his activism and strong statements on race relations. (VIDEO: John Lewis Calls On Obama To Declare Martial Law In Ferguson, Mo.)

“We have 76 living recipients of the Medal of Honor,” Palazzo said in a statement Tuesday. “I would suggest that the secretary of the Navy start there. My amendment has nothing — absolutely zero — to do with John Lewis or any other member of Congress. I’ve been honored to serve alongside Congressman Lewis, a civil rights icon, and I believe he deserves to be memorialized in a way that far outlasts the life of a Navy ship.”

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has been criticized for his name choices in the past. In 2011, Mabus named a cargo ship after Cesar Chavez, a Hispanic civil rights leader, which Rep. Duncan Hunter called a political move.

Palazzo’s amendment did not receive a vote before the bill was sent to the House.

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