WASHINGTON – Twenty-one House Republicans on Tuesday voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
The measure passed the House with overwhelming, bipartisan support from 406 lawmakers. But the 21 Republicans who voted “no” drew immediate condemnation from some of their colleagues, and the vote underscored the still-lingering tensions in Congress amid efforts by some GOP lawmakers to whitewash the events of that day.
Rep. 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 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 of Arizona, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Andy Harris of Maryland, Lance Gooden of Texas, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Michael Cloud of Texas, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Greg Steube of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia and John Rose of Tennessee.
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.
Ultimately, both chambers agreed to slightly modify the House legislation. Four Gold Medals will be printed: one for the Capitol Police, one for the District of Columbia 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 of Colorado, Barry Moore of Alabama, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chip Roy of Texas, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Jody Hice of Georgia and Mary Miller of Illinois.
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The Washington Post’s Paul Kane and Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.