Washington — The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to the U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department for protecting the Capitol during the January 6 assault.
The Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent, and it now heads to President Biden's desk for his signature. The legislation awards four medals in total, two of which are to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department headquarters. A third will be given to the Smithsonian Institution, and the fourth will go to the Architect of the Capitol for display in the building.
Ahead of the Senate's vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Congressional Gold Medals, the highest expression of national appreciation, were about "setting the record straight and recognizing the true heroism on display that fateful day."
"January 6 unleashed many horrors but it also revealed many heroes," he said in remarks on the Senate floor. "A day that many of us remember for its violence, anger and destruction was not without its share of bravery, sacrifice and selflessness.'
The House in June passed the bill to honor the officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, though 21 Republicans voted against the measure. Schumer lambasted those GOP lawmakers for their opposition, saying he is "stunned" by their votes.
"Those folks in the House were some of the same folks who likened the January 6 attack to 'a normal tourist visit,' who deny the events that day were an insurrection," he said. "The same folks who screamed the loudest about the dangers of defunding the police refused to defend the police, the very police that shielded them from the vicious mob on January 6. For the life of me, I don't know how they sleep at night."
More than 150 Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police officers were injured during the violent riots nearly seven months ago, and someinto the mob, beaten and tased. Federal prosecutors have said in court documents officers were and .
The violence January 6, and more than 70 officers have left the agency since then.
who responded to the attack have died by apparent suicide, including two whose deaths were confirmed by the Metropolitan Police Department on Monday. A fifth, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the day after defending the Capitol.