"Mount McKinley ... has held the name of our nation's 25th President for over 100 years," Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "This landmark is a testament to his countless years of service to our country." Gibbs also described Obama's action as "constitutional overreach," saying that an act of Congress was required to rename the mountain, because a law formally naming it after Ohio's William McKinley was passed in 1917.
"This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action," Gibbs said.
The Ohio delegation's disappointment at the decision cut across party lines.
"We must retain this national landmark's name in order to honor the legacy of this great American president and patriot," Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, whose district includes McKinley's hometown of Niles, in eastern Ohio.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also blasted the decision as "yet another example of the President going around Congress", while House Speaker John Boehner said the naming of the mountain after McKinley was "a testament to [the 25th president's] great legacy .. I am deeply disappointed in this decision."
Oops: Rob Portman Got Mt. McKinley History Wrong While Slamming Obama
By Caitlin Cruz
Portman tweeted Sunday night the mountain was named to remember McKinley’s “rich legacy after his assassination.”
But according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Portman's timeline is off.
The mountain was first named for McKinley by a prospector in 1896 when the Ohioan was his party's nominee for President, according to a timeline published by the National Park Service.
By 1897, the federal government started referring to it as such in publications, according to the Interior Department. McKinley was assassinated in 1901.
For more on Denali, see Obama Renames Mount McKinley and Murkowski Proposes Renaming Mt. McKinley.