Andy Harris among 12 Republicans voting against Capitol Police gold medals

By Dave Ryan
Posted 3/18/21

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 …

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Andy Harris among 12 Republicans voting against Capitol Police gold medals

Posted

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.”

It also says, “The desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American Democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our Nation’s history.”
Mr. Harris released a statement calling the measure a “politically charged publicity stunt.”
“The men and women on the thin blue line, including the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police, should never be used as props for politically charged publicity stunts like this bill,” Rep. Harris said. “I truly commend the Capitol Police for their actions on January 6th, and am very grateful for their service in keeping us safe each day. But I cannot support partisan charged language found in this bill.”

Rep. Harris was among the House members who voted to object to presidential electors in the aftermath of the riot.

The other lawmakers who opposed the resolution were Andy Biggs of Arizona, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Lance Gooden of Texas, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Michael Cloud of Texas, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Greg Steube of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia and John Rose of Tennessee.
In addition to awarding gold medals to the police forces, the resolution specifies that one will go to the Smithsonian Institution.

“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.”

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1085, legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to the United States Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police for defending the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021:

“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.”