Bill Would Name CVC After Thurmond

Posted July 11, 2003 at 6:20pm

Four South Carolina Republican House Members want to do better than name a committee room or balcony after the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

Reps. Gresham Barrett, Jim DeMint, Joe Wilson and Henry Brown want to see the structure being built in the giant hole on the East Front eventually called the J. Strom Thurmond Capitol Visitor Center.

“Senator Strom Thurmond’s middle name was constituent service, and it seems only fitting that we name the new Capitol Visitors Center after our nation’s most dedicated and longest serving elected official,” they wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Friday.

Barrett dropped a bill to that effect last week. It was referred to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The freshman lawmaker “has not yet had a chance to speak to the subcommittee chairman” who has jurisdiction, said Colleen Mangone, Barrett’s spokeswoman.

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), who chairs the subcommittee on public buildings, is also a member of the Capitol Preservation Commission, which oversees the Capitol Visitor Center project.

“Last week while attending the funeral services for Senator Thurmond, the one thing we heard over and over was if someone had a problem the first person they called was Senator Thurmond and they never had to call anyone else,” the letter read. “Naming the Capitol Visitors Center after Strom Thurmond is just one way we can pay tribute to all he did for all of us in his 100 years of life.”

The four South Carolina Republicans go on to point out that Thurmond’s 100-year lifespan (48 years of which he spent in the Senate) transversed “nearly one-half of our nation’s 227 year history.”