The House passed a bill Tuesday to award Congressional Gold Medals to honor the Capitol Police officers and others who protected the U.S. Capitol during a pro-Trump riot Jan. 6 by a vote of 406-21.
"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," the legislation says.
The bill would provide for four gold medals in honor of the first responders — one for the Capitol Police, one for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police, one for the Smithsonian Institution and one for the Architect of the Capitol.
The 21 "no" votes came from Republicans, including Andrew Clyde of Georgia, who downplayed the violence during a hearing last month.
"There was an undisciplined mob. There were some rioters and some who committed acts of vandalism. But let me be clear: There was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bald-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures," Clyde said then.
"You know, if you didn't know that TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit," he added.
Also voting "no" were Paul Gosar of Arizona, who said the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, one of the rioters, was "an execution," Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who had pointed to Jan. 6 as a "1776" moment before the riot.
The legislation would also honor Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who was killed in April when a knife-wielding attacker rammed a security barricade with his car at the Capitol.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said in a statement that he had voted for previous legislation honoring first responders but that he voted against the new bill because Democrats were playing "political games" by quietly including Evans in the measure.
"Officer William 'Billy' Evans was killed and Officer Kenneth Shaver was injured by a man obsessed with the Nation of Islam," Roy said.
"Because this incident does not fit into the left's narrative, the Democrats and media have been silent about this attack. I will always back the blue and recognize the bravery of law enforcement — they are true American heroes. I will however, not condone this obvious political maneuver by the Democrats."
Companion legislation was also unveiled in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo.