Klobuchar and Blunt led the Senate effort to recognize the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers in service of our country on January 6
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, announced that legislation to issue four congressional gold medals to recognize the service and sacrifice of United States Capitol Police (USCP) and other law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol on January 6 has passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The Senate adopted the bill passed by the House on June 15 by a vote of 406-21. Klobuchar and Blunt sponsored an identical Senate version of the legislation and led the effort to pass the bill in the Senate.
The legislation authorizes the medals honoring law enforcement to be awarded for display by the U.S. Capitol Police and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, as well as in the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capitol.
“On January 6th front line law enforcement officers were left to protect not only the Capitol, but our democracy itself. They performed heroically under unimaginable circumstances,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation is one small but important step towards recognizing and honoring their patriotism and sacrifice. I was proud to push for it to pass the Senate with unanimous consent, and now that it has, I look forward to it being signed into law.”
“I’m incredibly grateful for the heroic actions of the United States Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and all of the law enforcement personnel who responded to the January 6th attack,” Blunt said. “These Congressional Gold Medals recognize their selflessness and bravery, and honor the sacrifices they and their families make every day. The unanimous support this bill received is a testament to our shared appreciation for all our law enforcement officers do to keep us safe.”
The Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress. It is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. The congressional practice of issuing gold medals to occasionally honor recipients from the military began during the American Revolution. Later the practice extended to individuals in all walks of life and in the late 20th century also to groups. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. The congressional medal seeks to honor those, individually or as a group, “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.” However, “There are no permanent statutory provisions specifically relating to the creation of Congressional Gold Medals. When a Congressional Gold Medal has been deemed appropriate, Congress has, by legislative action, provided for the creation of a medal on an ad hoc basis.” Thus there are generally fewer gold medals than presidential medals. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.
As of June 24, 2021 ,173 institutions, people, or events have been awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.