McCain Refuses to Respond On Delay
of Bill as Veteran Dies Unhonored
An ongoing political spat between GOP Sens. John McCain and Richard Shelby likely blocked a female World War II hero from receiving the Congressional Gold Medal before she died.
Stephanie Rader, a veteran who served with the Office of Strategic Services, died at the age of 100 in January before McCain finally released his hold on a bill set to honor heroes from World War II.
Rader worked as a spy in Poland after World War II to gain crucial intelligence on the Soviets, but no one knew of her activities until 2008 when information on her mission was declassified.
Shelby’s committee introduced it, leading to the impression the bill was actually Shelby’s, and kicking up a pre-existing spat between the two senators.
The feud between McCain and Shelby has raged for several months. McCain bashed Shelby in December for playing pork barrel politics and sneaking in a provision in the omnibus bill to benefit Alabama, the state which Shelby represents. Part of the reason for the bill was apparently to preserve access to the Russian-made rocket engine RD-180, which McCain has consistently tried to ban, since access to the engine will supposedly enrich Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. A ban on the RD-180 has been just one of the ways McCain has tried to push back against Putin’s incursion into eastern Ukraine.