The Senate unanimously approved gold medals on Tuesday for Washington, D.C., Metro and Capitol Police officers who fought off protesters during the Jan. 6 riot.
The measure heads now to President Joe Biden’s desk. The House approved a gold metal resolution in June, and it passed over objections of nearly two dozen Republicans who disputed language characterizing the attack as an insurrection.
Senate lawmakers passed the measure with no objections on Tuesday, following the news that two officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 died by suicide this week.
Two other police officers died by suicide earlier this year following the Capitol riot.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, thanked lawmakers “for supporting this legislation and honoring the heroism and patriotism of the courageous law enforcement officers who risked, and in some cases sacrificed their lives to defend our democracy.”
Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said the gold medal award passing unanimously “will send a clear message to law enforcement officers we’re united in our appreciation of all they do to keep us safe.”
Rioters injured more than 150 officers as they pushed their way into the Capitol in an effort to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden’s presidential victory.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died days later from a stroke, though a medical examiner determined his death was not related to the riot.
In the weeks following, Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood and Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey Smith both died by suicide.
Two additional Washington, D.C., police officers died by suicide last month.
Metropolitan Police officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead by suicide on July 10. Officer Gunther Hashida was found dead in his home on July 29. Both officers responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, criticized the 21 House Republicans who voted against awarding the gold medal and said police faced a mob of white supremacists and domestic terrorists that day.
“The gold medal is about setting the record straight and recognizing the true heroism on display that fateful day,” Schumer said.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Susan Ferrechio