Harris Blasts Bill As 'Publicity Stunt' With 'Partisan Charged Language'By CBS Baltimore Staff

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Maryland Rep. Andy Harris was one of 12 members of Congress to vote against a bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals to police officers who protected the U.S. Capitol during the deadly riots two months ago.

House Bill 1085, which passed the House 413-12 on Wednesday, would give medals to the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department. Another would go to the Smithsonian to be displayed with a plaque listing all the agencies involved.

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The bill decried the rioters as “a mob of insurrectionists” that “forced its way into the U.S. Capitol building and congressional office buildings and engaged in acts of vandalism, looting, and violently attacked Capitol Police officers.”

In a statement, Harris called the bill a “publicity stunt” loaded with “partisan charged language”:

“The men and women on the thin blue line, including the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police, should never be used as props for politically charged publicity stunts like this bill. I truly commend the Capitol Police for their actions on January 6th, and am very grateful for their service in keeping us safe each day. But I cannot support partisan charged language found in this bill, and if the Speaker and House Democrats really cared about those on the thin blue line, they would not have attempted to handcuff law enforcement with the Defund the Police bill they unashamedly passed two weeks ago.”

A spokesperson for Harris said the congressman was instead sponsoring a similar bill by Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert that would also award the medals but contained “less incendiary language.”

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The full text of that legislation, which was introduced Wednesday, was not available online as of Thursday evening.

The full list of congress members to vote against the bill is as follows:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.)
  • Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)
  • Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
  • Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)
  • Rep. John Rose (R-Tenn.)
  • Rep. W. Gregory Steube (R-Fla.)

Five more lawmakers — all Republicans — did not vote on the measure.

All seven of Maryland’s Democratic congressmen voted in favor of the legislation, which has now made its way to the Senate.

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CBS Baltimore Staff