The House passed legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to the police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.
On Tuesday (June 15), lawmakers from both parties voted 406-21 in support of the law. All 21 votes in opposition came from conservative Republicans. The bill will award three medals — one to the Metropolitan Police Department and one to the entire U.S. Capitol Police force — “so that the sacrifices of fallen officers and their families, and the contributions of other law enforcement agencies who answered the call of duty on January 6, 2021, can be recognized and honored in a timely manner.”
A third medal will be placed on exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, with a plaque that lists the names of all the law enforcement agencies that protected the Capitol during the violent riot.
The resolution also lists the names of three Capitol Police officers — Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood and Eugene Goodman — who were deemed heroes during the insurrection. Sicknick and Liebengood died days after they were on duty on Jan. 6. Goodman has since been promoted to acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms after he lured a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber.
The bill states that their actions “exemplify the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country.”
“Jan. 6 was unquestionably 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,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor prior to the legislation’s passage.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Thomas Massie were two of the 21 Republicans who voted against the bill. They told reporters that they did not believe the legislation should refer to the events of Jan. 6 as an insurrection.