21 GOP Reps Opposed Awarding Gold Medals To Capitol Police For Jan. 6 Bravery

A large group of pro-Trump insurrectionists stand on the East steps of the Capitol Building after storming its grounds on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
June 15, 2021 6:57 p.m.

The House on Tuesday passed legislation again awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement who responded to the Jan. 6 attack in a 405-21 vote. 188 Republicans crossed party lines to vote with Democrats.

The House’s passage of the updated bill honoring the entire Capitol Police force and the D.C. police who risked their lives defending the Capitol during the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6 comes four months after the Senate unanimously voted to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. Goodman’s award came after a video showing that he diverted an angry mob from the Senate chamber went viral.

Following the Senate’s honoring of Goodman, the House had passed a measure in March that would have awarded the highest congressional honor to the Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

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The measure hit snags in the Senate, however. Months later, Senate leaders struck a deal on an updated version of the measure with their House counterparts — who have argued that the Congressional Gold Medal shouldn’t be limited to just one person, given the heroic actions of others serving in law enforcement on Jan. 6 — after weeks of deliberations, according to the Washington Post.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a Senate bill on Tuesday that matches the legislation passed by the House.

“January 6th was one of the darkest days in the history of our democracy, but because of the courage of the Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers, it will also be etched in history as a day of heroism,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement to the Post, explaining the compromise decision to honor law enforcement who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 with the medal. “Doing so is a high honor, and it is also our responsibility: to ensure that we always remember these heroes and their valor and sacrifice.”

The House’s passage of the bill also comes after Senate Republicans deployed the filibuster last month to kill the House-passed Jan. 6 commission bill that would form an independent bipartisan panel investigating the Capitol attack in a 54-35 vote.

It also comes after Republican lawmakers downplayed the severity of the violence on Jan. 6 — which then-President Trump helped incite by telling the crowd at a “Stop the Steal” rally hours before the Capitol attack to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results on the day of the joint session of Congress cementing Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who voted against the bill the House passed on Tuesday, said he opposed it because he doesn’t agree with calling the events of Jan. 6 an “insurrection” and the Capitol a “temple of democracy.”

“I think it was a mob, but I don’t think it was an insurrection,” Massie said, according to Politico.

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