Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Passage Of Legislation To Award Congressional Gold Medals To U.S. Capitol And Metropolitan Police Who Protected The U.S. Capitol On January 6th

August 3, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding awarding the Capitol and D.C. Metropolitan Police with the Congressional Gold Medal for their displays of bravery, sacrifice, and selflessness. The Senate passed the resolution awarding the Congressional Gold Medal by unanimous consent.  Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

As we all know, January 6th unleashed many horrors, but it also revealed many heroes. A day that many of us remember for its violence, anger, and destruction was not without its share of bravery, sacrifice, and selflessness. I am, of course, talking about the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police.

In a few moments, my colleagues Senators Klobuchar and Blunt will ask the Senate to award them the Congressional Gold Medal. It is the highest expression of gratitude that Congress can bestow. I cannot imagine more worthy recipients than the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend this temple of democracy.

I want to thank Senator Klobuchar, the Chair of the Rules Committee, and Senator Blunt, the Ranking Member of the Rules Committee, for working so hard on this. And I want to commend the House and Speaker Pelosi and the House members who voted for it as well.

Now, I must mention that I am still stunned by what happened in the House, where 21 members of the House Republican caucus voted against this legislation. The Senate is different. I expect this to pass unanimously. That’s why we are here doing it today. But those folks in the House were some of the same folks who likened the January 6th attack to “a normal tourist visit”; who deny the events that day were an “insurrection.” The same folks who screamed loudest about the dangers of “defunding the police” refused to defend the police, the very police, that shielded them from a vicious mob on January 6th.

For the life of me, I don’t know how they sleep at night. That’s one of the many reasons this Gold Medal is so important.

The Gold Medal is about setting the record straight and recognizing the true heroism on display that fateful day.

My colleagues: we have a moral obligation to never forget what our first responders faced down. A mob of white supremacists and domestic terrorists stormed the barriers with vicious force, using flagpoles as spears and fences as battering rams. Capitol Police officers were swarmed, beaten, crushed between the doorways, tasered repeatedly. One hundred forty officers were assaulted that day. Fifteen required hospitalization. Seven people have lost their lives in connection with this attack. Just recently, sadly, I read this story and I ached, two more police officers took their own lives—heaping tragedy upon tragedy.

These past six months have been the hardest in the history of the Capitol Police force. And yet, they still keep watch. They still stand guard. They do their jobs every single day with professionalism, excellence, and grace.

Awarding the Congressional Gold medal is a way to commemorate their sacrifice, and make sure that the truth of January 6th is recognized and remembered forever.

To our Capitol and Metropolitan Police: thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do. This recognition is the very least you deserve.

And once again, I want to give real praise to my colleague from Minnesota as I yield to her. She has done an amazing job as head of the Rules Committee in many different ways. This is one of many. And I want to thank Senator Blunt, who always works in a spirit of bipartisanship. We’re in quite a bipartisan week here, and that is a good thing. 

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