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On the one hand, there was a rare outbreak of bipartisanship in Congress on Tuesday evening. The Senate voted unanimously to make Juneteenth a national holiday and the House soon after voted overwhelmingly to award the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, to the law enforcement officers who protected lawmakers and their staff from the Jan. 6 mob that laid siege to the Capitol.
On the other hand, while 406 House Democrats and Republicans voted to honor the officers, 21 Republicans voted no. “The vote underscored the lingering tensions in Congress amid efforts by some GOP lawmakers to whitewash the events of that day,” The Washington Post reports.
The legislation, in a compromise with the Senate after a months-long impasse, awards three Congressional Gold Medals to the Capitol Police “and those who protected the U.S. Capitol” on Jan. 6. One is for the Capitol Police, the second for the D.C. Metropolitan Police, and the third for the Smithsonian Institution; a fourth medal will be displayed inside the Capitol with the names of every law enforcement agency that helped expel the “insurrectionists.”
The legislation honors the “sacrifices” of the three police officers who died following the attack and the “courage” of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. “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,” the bill says.
The Republicans who voted no were Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Andy Harris (Md.), Jody Hice (Ga.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Barry Moore (Ala.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Scott Perry (Pa.), John Rose (Tenn.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas), and Greg Steube (Fla.). They faced bipartisan criticism for their votes.