Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) called the “no” votes “a sad commentary on the @HouseGOP,” while Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) declared, “How you can vote no to this is beyond me.”
“Then again, denying an insurrection is as well,” Kinzinger, a vocal critic of former president Donald Trump, said in a tweet. “To the brave Capitol (and DC metro PD) thank you. To the 21: they will continue to defend your right to vote no anyway.”
In an interview on CNN Tuesday night, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) called the 21 “no” votes “a new low for this crowd.”
“They voted to overturn an election. But in their vote today, they kind of sealed the deal of basically affiliating with the mob,” Connolly said. “They now are part of the insurrectionist mob. They brought enormous disrepute and dishonor on themselves in not honoring the brave men and women who defended the Capitol of the United States — everybody in it, but also defending the symbol of democracy in the world, not just here in the United States.”
In March, when an initial version of the legislation was brought to the House floor, a dozen Republicans voted against the measure. Many of those who voted “no” said they objected to the use of the term “insurrectionists” in the resolution.
Those GOP lawmakers included Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Andy Harris (Md.), Lance Gooden (Tex.), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), Michael Cloud (Tex.), Andrew S. Clyde (Ga.), Greg Steube (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.) and John Rose (Tenn.).
The House and Senate then remained in a standoff for three months over whether to honor all law enforcement who responded on Jan. 6 or to award the Congressional Gold Medal to one officer in particular, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who single-handedly diverted an angry mob away from the Senate chamber.
The Senate had already unanimously voted to give the Gold Medal exclusively to Goodman. The medal, bestowed by Congress, is a symbol of national appreciation for distinguished achievements.
Ultimately, both chambers agreed to slightly modify the House legislation. Four Gold Medals will be awarded: one for the Capitol Police, one for the D.C. police, another for the Smithsonian Institution and another to be displayed inside the Capitol building along with a plaque that names all law enforcement agencies who helped repel the rioters that day.
On Tuesday, Gooden, one of the 12 House Republicans who voted against the legislation in March, voted in favor of the new bill.
But the number of opposing votes grew, with 10 other House Republicans switching their votes from “yes” to “no.”
Those Republicans are Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Barry Moore (Ala.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matthew M. Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Tex.), Paul A. Gosar (Ariz.), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Scott Perry (Pa.), Jody Hice (Ga.) and Mary Miller (Ill.).
Some of those who voted “no” on Tuesday said they objected to the use of the words “temple” or “insurrection” in the resolution.
“I wouldn’t call it an insurrection,” Greene said, according to Politico.
Some House Republicans, such as Clyde, have sought to recast the violent mob’s actions on Jan. 6 as little different from a “normal tourist visit” to the Capitol. Others have sought to play down that day’s events in different ways.
During the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, rioters attempted to break into the House chamber, punching and busting glass, resulting in the death of Ashli Babbitt, whom police shot when she attempted to climb through a shattered glass door.
Gosar has previously claimed that Babbitt had been “executed” — even though she defied police warnings and the officer who fatally shot her was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
Gosar did so again Tuesday, claiming during a House hearing that a Capitol Police officer was “lying in wait” for Babbitt and that she was “executed,” Politico reported.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted from House Republican leadership over her criticism of Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, denounced Gosar’s remarks Tuesday evening.
“On January 6, as the violent mob advanced on the House chamber, I was standing near @RepGosar and helped him open his gas mask,” Cheney said in a tweet. “The Capitol Police led us to safety. It is disgusting and despicable to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who defended us.”
Paul Kane and Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.