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Senate unanimously passes legislation to award Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman

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At the end of the fourth day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate voted to honor Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal for his role in protecting members and staff during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Video Transcript

PATRICK LEAHY: The Senator from New York.

CHUCK SCHUMER: Thank you, Mr. President. And Mr. President, in a moment, I will ask the Senate to pass legislation that would award Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. In the weeks after the attack on January the 6th, the world learned about the incredible, incredible bravery of Officer Goodman on that fateful day. Here in this trial, we saw new video, powerful video, showing calmness, under pressure, his courage in the line of duty, his foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob's rage so that others might reach safety.

Officer Goodman is in the chamber tonight. Officer Goodman, thank you.

MITCH MCCONNELL: Mr. President.

CHUCK SCHUMER: Mr.-- wait.

PATRICK LEAHY: Republican Leader McConnell.

MITCH MCCONNELL: Oh, I'm sorry.

CHUCK SCHUMER: OK.

PATRICK LEAHY: Oh.

CHUCK SCHUMER: I just want to say, I think we can all agree that Eugene Goodman deserves the highest honor Congress can bestow. But I just-- before we move to pass this legislation, I want to be clear that he was not alone that day. The nation saw, and has now seen, numerous examples of the heroic conduct of the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police, the SWAT teams that were with us on January 6 here in the Capitol protecting us.

Our heartfelt gratitude extends to each and every one of them, particularly now as members of the force continue to bear scars, seen and unforeseen, from the events of that disgraceful day. Let us give them all the honor and recognition they so justly deserve.

MITCH MCCONNELL: Mr. President.

PATRICK LEAHY: The Republican leader.

MITCH MCCONNELL: I'm pleased to join the Majority Leader's request. January 6 was a day of fear for those who work here in the Capitol, and of sadness for many more watching from afar. But that awful day also introduced our nation to a group of heroes, whom we in Congress were already proud to call our colleagues, and to whom we owe a great debt. In the face of lawlessness, the officers of the US Capitol lived out the fullest sense of their oaths.

If not for the quick thinking and bravery of officer Eugene Goodman in particular, people in this chamber may not have escaped that day unharmed. Officer Goodman's actions reflect a deep personal commitment to duty, and brought even greater distinction upon all his brave brothers and sisters in uniform. So I'm proud the Senate is taking this step forward recognizing his heroism with the highest honor we can bestow.

CHUCK SCHUMER: So Mr. President, as if in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs be discharged from further consideration of S35, and then, at the Senate, proceed to its immediate consideration.

PATRICK LEAHY: Without objection? And the clerk will report.

- S35, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Officer Eugene Goodman.

PATRICK LEAHY: Without objection, the committee is discharged, and the Senate now proceeds to the measure.

CHUCK SCHUMER: Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Van Hollen Substitute Amendment, which is at the desk, be considered and agreed to. The bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.

PATRICK LEAHY: Without objection, it is so ordered.