Medals will always be awarded, although Republican votes do not draw criticism from across the political aisle.
Members of the U.S. Republican Party are under fire after 21 people voted against a bill to award gold medals to Capitol Hill police officers for their actions during the January 6 riot who tried to block the transition of power in the United States.
The Senate and House agreed to award the medals, but the final House of Representatives vote was 406-21. The 21 votes against the bill came from Republicans, some of whom expressed their differences of opinion on the events of January 6.
The riot was followed in large part by supporters of former President Donald Trump who came from a myriad of far-right and anti-government groups, and the QAnon movement who thinks Trump was chosen to defeat a cabal of international liberal elites in the “deep state” who traffick children to keep their blood young.
They tried to prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Five died after the riot, including a Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, infamous for her past support for certain aspects of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement and previously claiming that a “Jewish laser” had caused wildfires, voted against the bill.
“I wouldn’t call it an insurgency,” Greene told reporters after the vote.
Republicans also said they disagreed with other aspects of the bill’s wording, including the use of the word “temple” to describe the Capitol complex.
Greene joined Rep. Thomas Massie in saying that the Capitol is not a temple.
Representative Paul Gosar voted against the bill. He said ahead of the vote that the Trump supporter killed by storming into Congress in January, Ashli babbitt, was “executed” by the security forces when they fired shots through the doors of the chamber of the Chamber.
Babbitt was part of a crowd that had gathered, threatening law enforcement to walk away and smashing windows in barricaded doors leading into a hallway leading to the President’s Hall, the hallway outside the Chamber of the House where members of the United States Congress took shelter. The policeman drew his gun and opened fire when Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the shattered windows.
The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting by the US Department of Justice, finding it reasonable to believe he was shooting in self-defense or in defense of congressional officials.
Gosar is pushing for the name of the policeman who shot Babbitt to be revealed. He has previously been criticized for praising Babbitt, a 14-year-old US Air Force veteran, in a tweet quoting U2’s words: “They took his life. They couldn’t take his pride.
– Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) May 28, 2021
The comments drew criticism from Republican Senator Liz Cheney, who often angered the Republican Party for going through Trump.
“On January 6, as the violent crowd marched into the bedroom of the House, I stood near [Gosar] and helped him open his gas mask. The Capitol police took us to safety. It’s disgusting and contemptible to see Gosar lie about that day and smear the men and women who stood up for us, ”Cheney said on Twitter.
The Ministry of Justice has stopped more than 400 people compared to January 6. Most are charged with offenses, including trespassing. However, there are allegations that some of the rioters intended to harm elected officials.
Representative Adam Kinzinger also challenged his Republican colleagues.
“How you can vote no to that is beyond me,” Kinzinger, himself an Airforce veteran, said in a tweet. “Again, denying an insurgency is too. Thank you to the courageous Capitol (and DC metro PD). At the 21st: they will continue to defend your right to vote no anyway.
How you can vote no to that is beyond me. Again, denying an insurgency is too. Thank you to the courageous Capitol (and DC metro PD). At the 21st: they will continue to defend your right to vote no anyway https://t.co/08gmIPu7wX
– Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) June 15, 2021
While the votes against were weak, Republicans largely oppose the continuation of the investigation into the January 6 riot. Senate Republicans blocked a bipartite investigation in May.
Three gold medals will be handed out, despite the outburst of Republicans who voted against the bill.
One will be handed over to the Capitol Police as a whole, another to the Metropolitan Police Department and the third at the Smithsonian Institution with a plaque listing the law enforcement agencies involved in the defense of the Capitol.