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tv   U.S. Senate Congressional Gold Medals For U.S. Capitol Police  CSPAN  August 3, 2021 2:00pm-2:16pm EDT

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okay. let me know, oh, by the way, his family had received a threatening message from someone indicating that they knew where my brother and his wife and his three girls lived and that they had people in the neighborhood and that, me, meaning his brother, the congressman did not stop telling lies about the election, something bad was going to happen. .... .... ... as you know, as we all know, january 6 unleashed many horrors, but it also revealed
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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
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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're here doing it today. but those folks in the house were some of the same folks who likened the january 6 attack to, quote, a normal tourist >> who deny the events that day were an insurrection. 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 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
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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 flag poles as spears and fences as battering rams. capitol police officers were swarmed, beaten, crushed between the doorways, tasered repeatedly. 140 officers were assaulted that day. 15 required hospitalization. seven people have lost their lives in connection with this attack. just this week, 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
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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's done an amazing job as head of the rules committee in many different ways, and this is one of many, and i want to thank senator blount who always works in a spirit of bipartisanship. we're in quite a bipartisan week here, and that's a good thing. senator klobuchar? >> mr. president? >> senator from minnesota. >> mr. president, i thank senator schumer for his
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leadership, the fact that we in the senate were able to come unanimously behind this important, important resolution, which i will describe, in a minute, and i also thank senator mcconnell, and i certainly thank my friend senator blount for his leadership. we must pass this legislation honoring the capitol police and other heroes who protecteded the capitol on january 6th, by awarding them this congressional gold medal. senator blount joined me from the beginning in sponsoring the senate version of this legislation and worked with me on the rules committee and thank you to the presiding officer senator padilla for his great service on that committee, to continue the work of getting to the bottom of the security planning and response failures that we saw on january 6th. while that work goes on, it is important that we recognize the
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bravery and patriotism of those who defended our democracy and our lives with congress's highest honor. the insurrection at the capitol was more than an assault on democracy. oh, it was that in a big big way, but it was also an actual life-or-death situation for the many brave law enforcement officers who show up here to do their work every day. we will never forget the haunting sleeks of the police officer -- haunting shrieks of the police officer pinned in the doors. we will never forget officer harry dunn who told his story again last week recounting how he fought against the violent mob for hours, and it was all over, broke down in tears, telling fellow officers in the rotunda that he'd been called the n word multiple times that day, and he looked at his
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friend, his fellow officer and said is this america? these medals today? these congressional gold medals that will be displayed for millions to see? one at the smithsonian, one in this capitol, one at the metropolitan police, one with the capitol police, they answer that question. no, officer dunn, that was not america. but these medals that recognize your bravery, this is america. or our own officer eugene goodman who after saving senator romney from walking directly into the mob of insurrectionists ran by himself to take on a group of rioters and then diverted that mob away. we have all seen it on the video. we know what he was doing, allowing the rest of us to safely depart. tragically the attack on the capitol also cost the lives of four brave officers including
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capitol police officer brian sicknick who died the day following the attack. i had the honor to meet his family. four other officers died following the events of january 6th, d.c. metropolitan police officer jeffrey smith, his colleagues gunther hashida and kyle defryda whose passing was reported yesterday and of course capitol police officer howard [inaudible]. we are also so inspired by the work of their loved ones who have come to capitol hill for a 9/11 style commission to look at the insurrection on why it happened to get to the bottom of it and advocate for the capitol police to support their officers. it's been reported that at least 140 more officers sustained injuries from defending the capitol, the courage of these officers will be remembered forever. we responded. senator blount and i joined with
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senator portman and peters on the homeland security committee to interview officials from multiple agencies and review thousands of documents. we convened major public hearings and then interviewed many many other witnesses. our resulting bipartisan joint report focused on the security, planning, and response failures related the violence and unprecedented insurrection at the capitol and includes key findings and recommendations that must be put in place without delay. i'm pleased we have introduced our bipartisan bill which will make sure that the new police chief will be able to call in help from the national guard without calling a bunch of other people in the mid of a crisis. -- middle of a crisis. we have just passed on a bipartisan basis thanked to senator leahy and shelby major security funding that will help to give the police the resources they need and fund the improvements needed to this capitol. we also have put in place two
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new sergeants at arms, one in the senate, one in the house, as well as a new police chief, chief major, who i just met with for a lengthy period of time yesterday to go over all of our recommendations, and by the end of the year, i will appear in this chamber with a checklist. to make sure they are either done being implemented or in the process of being implemented to be done soon. another key priority that we called for in our report was advanced last week when the president signed into law as i said all of the funding that we need, and what that includes that i didn't mention, 4.4 million for mental health support for capitol police officers and the many officers that are still dealing as we can see with trauma to this day. passing this bill, which of course already passed the house, and yes, i agree with senator schumer about how it is impossible to understand why some people voted against it, but it still passed with
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bipartisan support, is another step forward to honor the heroism and sacrifice of our law enforcement. those medals, when little kids walk by and see them at the smithsonian, their parents are going to be able to tell them this happened. this attack happened. and there were brave police officers and staff and others in this building that stood up that day and protected our democracy. and we will be forever thankful to them. we're hearing a lot about gold medals, some won by our own usa team that we're so proud of, the last week at the olympics. this is our olympics. this is our gold medal, and it goes today to the capitol police officers and the metropolitan police officers and others that protected us that day. thank senator blount who is here with us as well.
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>> mr. president? >> senator from missouri. >> i'm proud to join my friend and my colleague senator klobuchar as we have introduced and support this amendment. you know, every day when i come to work, and at the capitol, the first person i see is almost always a u.s. capitol police officer, and no matter how late i leave at night, the last person i see is almost always a u.s. capitol police officer. i was working this building on 9/11, and one of the last people to leave that morning as the capitol police were encouraging us to get out of the building, but the last person i saw as i left the building who was still in the building was the capitol police officer. now the capitol police have a hard job to do. they not only defend us, but they defend democracy in a way that other police officers are not asked to do. and they always do it at the highest level of professionalism
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and dedication, never more evident than it was on january the 6th. it was a difficult and sad day for americans, but especially for law enforcement officers who serve and protect the capitol. and for their families, mr. president. i've often said that maybe very possibly the hardest job to do in america today is to be the family member of someone in -- who works in law enforcement. maybe the second hardest job is to be the person working in law enforcement, but those families on that day were watching television, listening to the news, seeing their very worst fears play out for all the world to see on a day that was horrific for them, horrific for the person they love, horrific for those who love this building and what it stands for, and i'm
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incredibly grateful for the heroic actions we saw that day, from the capitol police, from the metropolitan police, who along with the chief, who was the acting chief at the time, were here within 10 or 12 minutes of being called and here in force in that period of time. others came from around the region and all those law enforcement people that were here to help that day, we are deeply appreciative of. the legislation we have here is really called -- calls on us to recognize the selflessness, the dedication, the willingness to stand, in the way of danger, as others are able to try to get away from danger. it honors the sacrifices they make and their families make every day. i hope by passing this congressional gold medal bill, by unanimous consent, we send a clear message to law enforcement
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officers that we're united in our appreciation of all they do to keep us safe. i urge my colleagues to join not only in supporting the unanimous passage of this bill, but also to be quick in talking about our deep appreciation for those who served in such a special way as we try to do our work here every day. i yield back. >> mr. president? >> senator from minnesota. >> thank you to senator blunt. i ask unanimous consent that the committee on banking, housing, and -- the senate is about to gavel in after taking a recess for party lunches. they will continue working on amendments to the 1.2 trillion dollars infrastructure bill. votes on amendments are expected this afternoon. now live to the senate floor, on c-span 2.


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