The Senate passed a bill Friday to award Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions in response to the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol building.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the legislation following the end of the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial.
“Here in this trial, we saw new video, powerful video showing calmness under pressure, his courage in the line of duty, his foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob’s rage so that others might reach safety,” Schumer said. “Officer Goodman, thank you.”
“In the weeks after the attack on January the sixth, the world learned about the incredible bravery of Officer Goodman on that fateful day,” Schumer added.
“I think we can all agree that Eugene Goodman deserves the highest honor Congress can bestow.”
Both Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) paid tribute on the Senate floor to Goodman as well as other Capitol Police officers for defending members and staff during the riots. The passage of the legislation marks a rare bright spot of bipartisanship.
McConnell said he was “pleased to join the majority leader’s request,” and said he was “proud the Senate is taking this step forward recognizing his heroism with the highest honor we can bestow.”
“If not for the quick thinking and bravery of Officer Eugene Goodman, in particular, people in this chamber may not have escaped that day unharmed,” McConnell added.
Goodman, who is now the acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms, became a national hero for his actions after a reporter recorded him guiding the swarm of mob away from the Senate chamber. The officer was present in the Senate chamber as the Democratic Majority leader introduced the legislation and was given a standing ovation from the entire Senate floor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday said she plan to introduce legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police who protected the Capitol from rioters last month.
“It has been such a sad time for us, but as we see what is being presented, we also see the extraordinary valor of the Capitol police, who risked and gave their lives to save our Capitol, our democracy, our lives. They are martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives,” Pelosi said, announcing her plans during her weekly news conference.
Pelosi said she wanted to recognize Goodman after lawmakers pushed for call for him to receive a Congressional Gold Medal for his “valor.”
“We want to honor them in the best way that we possibly can, and we will continue to do so beyond a medal, but in our hearts,” Pelosi said.