CINCINNATI (Enquirer) - The House voted Wednesday to award Capitol police, Metropolitan police and other law enforcement agencies with the Congressional Gold Medal, for protecting lawmakers, staffers, journalists and visitors from insurrectionists on Jan. 6.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie was among the Republicans who voted against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies who defended the chamber during the Capitol riot, according to our media partners at the Enquirer.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the debate on Tuesday afternoon.
About 140 police officers were injured during the attack, including 15 who were hospitalized after rioters broke into the building, vandalized offices and interrupted the counting of Electoral College votes. Three officers who were there later died.
“January 6th was a day of horror and heartbreak, but because of these courageous men and women, it was also a moment of extraordinary heroism,” Pelosi said during her floor speech.
“That day the United States Capitol Police force put themselves between us and the violence. They risked their safety and their lives for others with the utmost selflessness, and they did so because they were patriots – the type of Americans who heard the call to serve and answered it – putting country above self.”
Massie, of Kentucky’s 4th congressional district, was one of the dozen to vote against the bill, told reporters he disagreed with the terms “insurrection” and “temple” in the legislation. “Says he’s worried about giving weight to “insurrection” and that it could show up in a prosecution,” USA TODAY reporter Nicolas Wu Tweeted.
In total, 12 Republicans voted against the bill including Massie, Arizona’s Rep. Andy Biggs, Maryland’s Rep. Andy Harris, Texas’ Rep. Lance Gooden, Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz, Texas’s Rep. Michael Cloud, Georgia’s Rep. Andrew Clyde, Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Texas’s Rep. Louie Gohmert, Florida’s Rep. Greg Steube, Virginia’s Rep. Bob Good and Tennessee’s Rep. John Rose.
Massie was present during the Capitol riot. He barricaded his doors with office furniture and grabbed his gun.
The Republican from Garrison who represents Northern Kentucky waited along with half his staff, another congressman, that congressman’s staff and a Senate staffer who happened to be getting a COVID-19 vaccine in the vicinity at the time.
“My Spidey senses were going off,” Massie told The Enquirer. “I knew something was going to happen. I have been in situations on the National Mall when they have locked it down. You have to decide which side of the airlock you want to be on.”
The House passed the legislation 413-12 on Wednesday to award Congressional Gold Medals to Capitol Police and other law enforcement who responded to the Capitol riot.
Nobody spoke in opposition during the debate. The Senate must still vote on the measure.
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