The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to award the U.S. Capitol Police and different defenders of the Capitol advanced with Congressional Gold Medals on Wednesday following the lethal Jan. 6 riot in Washington.
The vote was almost unanimous, with each Democrat and 194 Republicans voting to award the medals. The highest honor bestowed by Congress expresses “national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.” At least two-thirds of the chamber should signal on to co-sponsor the laws, and Wednesday’s invoice ― sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ― had 333 signatories out of 435 members, or greater than three-quarters. The invoice now heads to the Senate, the place it’s anticipated to cross after it’s reconciled with one other measure that chamber handed in February.
Twelve House Republicans, nonetheless, voted no: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Lance Gooden (Texas), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Andy Harris (Md.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), John Rose (Tenn.) and Greg Steube (Fla.).
HuffPost has reached out to all 12 Republicans who voted in opposition to awarding the medals.
Many of these lawmakers homed in on two particular phrases within the invoice: The language that describes the Capitol as a “temple” of American democracy and one other line that categorizes the mob of pro-Donald Trump supporters that stormed the constructing as “insurrectionists.” The laws would additionally create three medals, one to be displayed at U.S. Capitol Police headquarters, one on the headquarters of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and one other on the Smithsonian Institution.
“We had to combine it with these editorial comments about the January 6 sequence of events, and then we had to logroll it with this exhibit at the Smithsonian, and … that was a little much for me,” Gaetz mentioned after his no vote, based on The Washington Post.
Gohmert mentioned Wednesday that the invoice “does not honor anyone,” as an alternative saying it sought to “drive a narrative that isn’t substantiated by known facts.” He launched his personal laws earlier than the vote to take away what he referred to as offending language, but it surely didn’t transfer ahead.
“We absolutely do want to show our gratitude and respect for the U.S. Capitol Police, so I removed the Speaker’s false and politicized narrative in order to arrive at legislation that truly honors those who selflessly serve us in Congress,” Gohmert mentioned.
Harris additionally blasted Pelosi on Wednesday, accusing her of utilizing the police as “props for politically charged publicity stunts.”
“I truly commend the Capitol Police for their actions on January 6th, and am very grateful for their service in keeping us safe each day,” he mentioned in an announcement to the Post. “But I cannot support partisan charged language found in this bill.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene echoed that criticism.
“This Capitol is not a temple. I will not give that a stamp of my approval,” Greene said in her personal feedback on Facebook, lambasting the invoice as a transfer by Democrats who “felt bad” for his or her votes on police reform efforts. “She calls every single person that entered the capitol on Jan. 6 an insurrectionist. While at the same time Democrats have never called Antifa or BLM ‘insurrectionist.’”
Antifa, a shorthand time period for anti-fascist protesters, and Black Lives Matter are largely peaceful movements, however the phrases have become dog whistles utilized by some Republican lawmakers to detract from the pro-Trump components who stormed the Capitol (the rioters themselves have resisted these claims, too).
The statements didn’t go over effectively with Democrats. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) mentioned the votes have been “unfortunate” and mentioned efforts to water down the laws have been “disgusting.”
“The alternative resolution they have proposed insults the memory of the officer who was killed defending the Capitol and the two others who died as a result of the attack in its immediate aftermath, using language implying that the three officers did not lose their lives in the line of duty,” Hoyer mentioned in an announcement. “Such disrespect for the heroes who courageously tried to protect the American people’s Capitol is disgusting.”
The Congressional Gold Medals voted on Wednesday weren’t the primary.
The Senate final month voted to award Officer Eugene Goodman, who helped shield lawmakers through the riot and steer an indignant mob from the Senate chamber, the Congressional Gold Medal.
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