Senate votes to grant Medals of Honor to police who responded to Capitol riot
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday voted to give medals to the officers who responded to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
Hundreds of Capitol police and D.C. police officers responded to the incident, in which supporters of former President Donald Trump laid siege to the U.S. Capitol and then poured inside in an effort to halt the electoral vote certification process that would ultimately cement President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
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The legislation now just needs a signature from Biden.
Under the bill, which passed by voice vote with no objections, there will be four medals – to be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution.
READ MORE: New Capitol police mental health center honors officer who took his own life after Jan. 6 riot
Senate passage comes after 21 House Republicans voted against the measure in June, some of them objecting to the language in the bill that referred to a "mob of insurrectionists."
Trump, along with many Republicans still loyal to him, has downplayed the rioting and tried to rebrand it as a peaceful protest, even as law enforcement who responded that day have detailed the violence and made clear the toll it has taken on them. Four officers gave emotional testimony in Congress last week about their mental and physical injuries.
Many officers are still recovering – mentally and physically – from the ordeal.
One Capitol police officer and three D.C. police officers have died from suicide in the wake of the Capitol riot.
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No Senate Republicans objected. The top Republican on the Senate Rules panel, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, said the medals recognize’ "the selflessness, the dedication, the willingness to stand in the way of danger." Blunt said he hopes they will send "a clear message" of appreciation to the two departments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report