- More than 20 GOP lawmakers voted against a bill awarding law enforcement officers the highest congressional honor for their work during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- Not a single House Democrat opposed the measure, which passed with the overwhelming support of 406 members.
- A few Republican lawmakers took issue with calling the storming of the Capitol an “insurrection.”
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More than 20 Republican lawmakers voted against a bill the House passed on Tuesday awarding all law enforcement officers the highest congressional honor for their work during the January 6 Capitol riot.
Not a single House Democrat opposed the measure, which passed with the overwhelming support of 406 members.
A few Republican lawmakers said they opposed the bill because it referred to the riot led by former President Donald Trump’s loyalists to disrupt Congress’ certification of the presidential election as an “insurrection.”
“I think it was a mob, but I don’t think it was an insurrection,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican.
“I think if we call that an insurrection, it could have a bearing on their case that I don’t think would be good,” Massie told reporters on Tuesday. “If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan, without sticking that in there,” he added.
Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania conservative, called the legislation “garbage.”
Far-right Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also said she disagreed with the use of the term and didn’t approve of the bill’s description of the Capitol building as “the temple of our American Democracy.”
Senators have already introduced a similar piece of legislation that will likely pass the chamber.
In March, the House passed a different bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police and the DC Police Department that failed to pass the Senate. A dozen Republican House members opposed that bill. Last month, the Senate honored Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was widely celebrated for protecting lawmakers and deterring rioters inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Much of the current GOP opposition stems from some of the language in the bills, specifically around the Democrats’ use of the term “insurrectionists” to describe the rioters who overtook the Capitol.
Tuesday’s resolution also named the three officers who died in the aftermath of the riots, Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffrey Smith, and included Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed on April 2 during a car-ramming attack at a Capitol Hill security barricade.
Another difference in Tuesday’s version is that it calls for four medals to be awarded to the various police forces who aided the effort, with one medal to be displayed within the Capitol.
Senate leaders struck a deal with the House to broaden Tuesday’s resolution so that all officers who responded receive a gold medal, and not just Eugene Goodman, meaning that the Senate may be more unified in supporting the current bill.
The Republicans who voted against the second version of the bill on Tuesday were:
- Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
- Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
- Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas
- Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia
- Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio
- Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida
- Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texa
- Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
- Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
- Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland
- Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia
- Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois
- Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama
- Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina
- Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
- Rep. John Rose of Tennessee
- Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana
- Rep. Chip Roy of Texas
- Rep. Greg Steube of Florida
[Background on what exactly is in the bill and why this version will likely pass as opposed to last version]
—Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) June 15, 2021