A dozen House Republicans voted against a resolution to award three Congressional Gold Medals to the Capitol Police, the D.C. police and the Smithsonian Institution in recognition of those who protected the U.S. Capitol when it was attacked by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6.
“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 said after the vote.
Others objected to the use of the word “temple" in the resolution.
“Instead of simply being about honoring the Capitol Police who bravely protected the Capitol on January 6th, Speaker Pelosi included damaging language that unnecessarily weighs down the bill," Cloud said in a statement. “The text refers to the Capitol as the temple of democracy – simply put, it’s not a temple and Congress should not refer to it as one. The federal government is not a god.”
Massie also opposed the use of the word “temple,” saying it was “a little too sacrilegious for me.”
The resolution states: “On January 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists forced its way into the U.S. Capitol building and congressional office buildings and engaged in acts of vandalism, looting, and violently attacked Capitol Police officers.”
It also says: “The desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American Democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our Nation’s history.”
In a tweet Wednesday evening, Good, a first-term lawmaker representing a swath of central Virginia, said the resolution was “politically convenient” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Harris, the only Republican House member in the Maryland delegation, released a statement calling the measure a “politically charged publicity stunt.”
“The men and women on the thin blue line, including the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police, should never be used as props for politically charged publicity stunts like this bill,” Harris said. “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. But I cannot support partisan charged language found in this bill.”
Earlier Wednesday, Gohmert corralled several other Republicans to support a separate resolution honoring the Capitol Police — one that made no mention of the events of Jan. 6, according to a copy obtained by Politico, but included the names of three police officers who defended the building that day and died in the days that followed.
Gohmert’s resolution said: “Most recently, we mourn the losses of Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, who all passed in January 2021.”
“I cosponsored @replouiegohmert’s PRO police bill,” Greene tweeted after voting against the other resolution.
Good, who as a candidate accused his Democratic opponent of wanting to “defund the police,” also expressed support for Gohmert’s “pro-police bill.”
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) lashed out at the Republicans who voted against the resolution to award the medals, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.
“It is deeply unfortunate that a number of House Republicans opposed this action as they attempt to erase the events of January 6 and deny the responsibility of a far-right, insurrectionist mob incited by former President Trump,” he said in a statement. “Such disrespect for the heroes who courageously tried to protect the American people’s Capitol is disgusting.”
The House’s resolution, which passed 413 to 12, recognizes all Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers. The Senate last month passed a resolution awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who faced an angry mob by himself and led those people in the opposite direction of the Senate chamber, where he knew lawmakers were gathered.
A spokesman for Pelosi said the House and the Senate will have to reconcile their separate resolutions so the same language is passed in both chambers. Typically the chambers work in tandem to pass these types of awards.
The House resolution also hit a snag last week when a handful of conservative Republicans planned to demand a roll-call vote on more than a dozen bills that would typically pass quickly by voice vote.
As leaders work toward a compromise, a handful of Republicans continued to demand roll-call votes on bills this week, including the one awarding congressional medals.
All but one of the lawmakers who voted against awarding the medals on Wednesday also voted to object to presidential electors in the aftermath of the riot. Massie was the only exception.
The lawmakers were among former president Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters — both before and after the election. Good, for example, often repeated the false claim that the election had been stolen from Trump, including to a crowd of thousands at a demonstration Dec. 12 at Freedom Plaza in Washington.
Good’s district director, Sandra Adams, faced scrutiny in January for being outside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot. Her husband, who is the GOP chairman in Good’s 5th Congressional District, maintained that they did not go inside the building.
Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.