The Slatest

21 House Republicans Voted Against Awarding a Medal to the Police for Defending the Capitol Jan. 6

A frayed upside-down American flag flies in front of Trump supporters massed on the Capitol steps.
A totally normal tourist visit to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to award Capitol Police the Congressional Gold Medal for their role in defending the legislature during the Jan. 6 insurrection and protecting lawmakers from possible mob violence. The seemingly uncontroversial bill received 406 votes in the House, but that means that someone voted “no.” Twenty-one Republican someones, in fact, managed to vote against the commendation for the police. The 21 recalcitrant representatives—which amounts to 10 percent of the Republican House caucus—make up the Trumpiest wing of the already Trumpy party. It’s hard to imagine being against awarding a medal of any kind to the people who protected the Capitol from a violent mob of thousands bent on mayhem, destruction, and possibly much worse. But the mob was made up of Trump supporters, and for these reps, that made the insurrection something different, something not so bad, not really an insurrection at all.

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“I wouldn’t call it an insurrection,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told reporters, summing up the group’s line of thinking. What other qualms did they have? “This is not a temple. That is for sure,” Greene groused about the bill’s language that referred to the Capitol as “the temple of our American Democracy.” Really controversial stuff. Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky also quibbled with the metaphorical flourish of calling the Capitol “a temple” while also defending those who invaded the not-temple that day. “I think it was a mob but I don’t think it was an insurrection. … They were protesting and I don’t approve of the way they protested, but it wasn’t an insurrection. My goodness. Can you imagine what a real insurrection would look like?” Massie told CNN. “If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan.” Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde compared the events of Jan. 6 to a “normal tourist visit” to the Capitol.

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And there you have it: The rehabilitation of an attack on the Capitol is in full swing. Here’s the full slate of Republican “no” votes on the medal bill, nearly double the number of Republicans (12) who voted against a similar version of the bill in March:

1. Lauren Boebert (Colorado)
2. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia)
3. Matt Gaetz (Florida)
4. Louie Gohmert (Texas)
5. Thomas Massie (Kentucky)
6. Paul Gosar (Arizona)
7. Andy Biggs (Arizona)
8. John Rose (Tennessee)
9. Andy Harris (Maryland)
10. Barry Moore (Alabama)
11. Bob Good (Virginia)
12. Ralph Norman (South Carolina)
13. Matt Rosendale (Montana)
14. Chip Roy (Texas)
15. Warren Davidson (Ohio)
16. Scott Perry (Pennsylvania)
17. Greg Steube (Florida)
18. Andrew Clyde (Georgia)
19. Jody Hice (Georgia)
20. Mary Miller (Illinois)
21. Michael Cloud (Texas)

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“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 Washington Post notes. “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.”

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