WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Andy Harris (R-Md.) was among 12 Republicans who voted against H.R. 1085 on March 17. The legislation was written to award Congressional Gold Medals to the United States Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers for defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol that day, trying to disrupt the counting of presidential electors’ votes.
Mr. Harris represents District 1, most of which is on the Eastern Shore. He is the only Republican among the state’s eight representatives.
The twelve House Republicans who voted against awarding the medals said they didn’t like the attack being called an insurrection, and the use of the word “temple” in reference to the Capitol. The House vote was 413-12.
The resolution states, “On January 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists forced its way into the U.S. Capitol building and congressional office buildings and engaged in acts of vandalism, looting, and violently attacked Capitol Police officers.”
Rep. Harris was among the House members who voted to object to presidential electors in the aftermath of the riot.
“We had to combine it with these editorial comments about the January 6 sequence of events, and then we had to logroll it with this exhibit at the Smithsonian, and...that was a little much for me,” Mr. Gaetz said after the vote.
Mr. Massie also objected to the use of the word “temple,” saying it was “a little too sacrilegious for me.”
“Today, I was proud to join my colleagues in voting to present Congressional Gold Medals to the U.S. Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police for their defense of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Many questions still remain about the events of that day and the weeks preceding it, but one thing that is certain is that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers charged with protecting Members of Congress, our staffs, and U.S. Capitol employees performed their duties with distinction, courage, and sacrifice. As a result of their heroic actions, revealed to Americans in great detail during the presentation of the House Managers in the impeachment trial last month, countless lives were saved and injuries averted. Tragically, three officers lost their lives as a result of the January 6 attack, and dozens were injured. They and their families remain in my thoughts as the House takes this action today to honor their service and sacrifice in defense of our democracy.
“It is deeply unfortunate that a number of House Republicans opposed this action as they attempt to erase the events of January 6 and deny the responsibility of a far-right, insurrectionist mob incited by former President Trump. The alternative resolution they have proposed insults the memory of the officer who was killed defending the Capitol and the two others who died as a result of the attack in its immediate aftermath, using language implying that the three officers did not lose their lives in the line of duty. Such disrespect for the heroes who courageously tried to protect the American people’s Capitol is disgusting.
“With regard to heroism and courage, I want to make particular mention of the previous and current officers assigned to my protective detail because of my position as Majority Leader. These are men and women I have come to know and respect, some of them over the course of many years. They have become like family to me and to my staff, a constant presence and source of reassurance as we carry out our work. On January 6, their professionalism, bravery, and quick response assisted in preventing what could have been a terrible tragedy. We owe them an extraordinary amount of gratitude, and I know that other Members from both sides of the aisle share my deep admiration for their daily service and that of their colleagues across the U.S. Capitol Police force.”