The Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

On the sur­face, it sounds like a no-brainer: Re­name an of­fice build­ing on the U.S. Capitol grounds af­ter Sen. John McCain, who died Sat­ur­day. That the of­fice build­ing is currently named af­ter a man whose leg­acy is tied to de­fend­ing ra­cial seg­re­ga­tion and that Democrats were on board — the top Democrat in the Senate is the one who intro­duced a meas­ure to do it — gave the per­cep­tion that this was a done deal.

But ac­tion in Washington is rare­ly so sim­ple. The pro­pos­al to re­name the Russell Senate Office Building af­ter McCain has stalled, per­haps in­def­i­nite­ly. And it’s Re­pub­lic­ans who have put the brakes on honoring McCain this way.

What gives?

Ac­cord­ing to Re­pub­lic­ans, who con­trol the majority in the Senate, proc­ess is what gives. It may be an un­satis­fy­ing an­swer, but Senate Republican lead­ers feel the Senate shouldn’t jump to re­name an en­tire build­ing just days af­ter a sen­a­tor died, said one top GOP Senate aide. This week is dedi­cat­ed to mourn­ing McCain; he’s got me­mo­ri­al ser­vices that span sev­er­al days and lo­ca­tions across the coun­try. Sena­tors ha­ven’t con­sulted with McCain’s fam­i­ly a­bout what they want, and this week isn’t re­al­ly the time to have that con­ver­sa­tion.

In­stead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) rec­om­mend­ed cre­at­ing a bi­par­ti­san coa­li­tion of sena­tors to look at the best way to hon­or McCain in the Senate. “Proper rec­og­ni­tion in a calm­er en­vi­ron­ment” was the reason he gave.

Then there’s the politics of re­nam­ing the build­ing, which are more he-said, she-said.

It’s been de­cades since an of­fice build­ing in the Senate was re­named, and it’s not im­medi­ate­ly clear whether such a pro­pos­al would get en­ough Republican sup­port. A de­fin­ing part of McCain’s leg­acy was his tend­en­cy to buck his par­ty on ev­er­y­thing from cam­paign fi­nance to tor­ture to, in the last years of his life, President Trump. McCain, with that late-night thumbs-down “no” vote last sum­mer on a health-care bill, ensured that Re­pub­lic­ans wouldn’t re­peal Obamacare. It’s only McCain’s death (and likely Republican re­place­ment) that has spurred hopes a­mong Re­pub­lic­ans in Congress they can try a­gain to re­peal Obamacare.

Trump has nev­er for­giv­en McCain for that “no” vote. Even Re­pub­lic­ans thought the president was re­mark­a­bly in­sen­si­tive to the sen­a­tor’s bat­tle with brain can­cer, by pub­lic­ly blam­ing McCain every chance he got for Re­pub­lic­ans' em­bar­rass­ing fail­ure to make good on their seven-year prom­ise to get rid of Obamacare.

Then you have some Senate Re­pub­lic­ans from Southern states say­ing things like this a­bout the build­ing’s cur­rent hon­or­ee, the late senator Rich­ard Russell Jr. of Georgia, who was a leader of the South’s op­po­si­tion to ci­vil rights: “Rich­ard Russell was an icon,” said Sen. Rich­ard C. Shelby (R-Ala.). He add­ed: “You go back to George Washington, Thomas Jef­fer­son, just a­bout anyone, no­bod­y’s per­fect.”

Some Senate Republican op­era­tives have ac­cused Senate Mi­nor­i­ty Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) of intro­duc­ing the re­nam­ing i­de­a just to make Re­pub­lic­ans look bad, know­ing that they’d hes­i­tate to stamp McCain’s name on a build­ing when McCain has some of the low­est ap­prov­al rat­ings a­mong Republican voters of any Republican (at 41 percent in a re­cent Fox News poll).

“This is Charles E. Schumer try­ing to make us hug John McCain, know­ing damned well that it will hurt us with our base back home,” one un­named Senate GOP aide told Time.

“Baloney,” say Democrats when they hear that ar­gu­ment — ac­tu­al­ly, they used a less print­a­ble word in con­ver­sa­tions with The Fix.

Democrats say they are sur­prised and dis­ap­point­ed by the slug­gish Republican re­sponse to hon­or McCain with an en­tire build­ing. Af­ter in­i­tial­ly hat­ing each oth­er, Schumer and McCain be­came close friends while spend­ing hours in Schumer’s of­fice de­bat­ing the nit­ty-grit­ty of im­mi­gra­tion and health care. They stayed close while McCain was sick. Schumer even knew McCain’s cellphone by heart, which he said this week he “mis­tak­en­ly” re­peat­ed in a media inter­view just to prove how close he was with the sen­a­tor.

“There was not an ounce of politics that went into this,” said one Senate Democratic aide, who spoke a­non­y­mous­ly to speak can­did­ly. The aide ac­cused Re­pub­lic­ans of kick­ing the of­fice-build­ing i­de­a to a com­mit­tee, which fa­mous­ly in Washington is where ideas go to die. And they point out that Re­pub­lic­ans have a pret­ty poor track record of stand­ing up to Trump on sub­stan­tive issues, such as the president’s hes­i­ta­tion to ac­knowl­edge Russian e­lec­tion in­ter­fer­ence. So why would Re­pub­lic­ans want to per­ma­nent­ly stamp on a build­ing the name of the president’s main GOP an­tag­o­nist?

Mean­while, a seni­or Senate GOP aide de­nies that McCain’s poll num­bers or re­la­tion­ship with Trump have any­thing to do with their hes­i­ta­tion to re­name the build­ing. “This is a Senate thing,” the aide said, add­ing that a com­mit­tee may well de­cide that re­nam­ing the build­ing is the best way to hon­or the sen­a­tor.

So what seemed in­i­tial­ly like a sim­ple i­de­a has de­volved into ac­cu­sa­tions that one side is using an American war hero’s death for politics and the other is too scared of politics to hon­or that American war hero with a build­ing. A­bout the only thing that’s cer­tain is that re­nam­ing the Russell Senate Office Building af­ter McCain won’t hap­pen any­time soon, if it hap­pens at all.