Republican U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler was one of three Texas congressmen who voted against a resolution Wednesday honoring U.S. Capitol Police for its efforts to protect members of both chambers during the Jan. 6 riot.
Republican U.S. Reps. Michael Cloud of Victoria and Lance Gooden of Terrell also voted against a resolution that awarded Congressional Gold Medals — the legislative chamber’s “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions” — to members of the Capitol police force. The bipartisan resolution passed 413-12.
Politico reported that allies in Congress of former President Donald Trump tried “to scrub references to the insurrection” from the resolution.
Before the vote, Gohmert had circulated his own resolution that did not mention the attack and sought to distance the deaths of Officers Brian Sicknick and Jeffrey Smith from the date of Jan. 6 because they both died in the following days. Authorities recently charged two suspected rioters for assaulting Sicknick with a chemical spray, but it remains unknown if that exposure caused his death. Smith died by suicide several days later.
Gohmert released a statement before Wednesday’s vote:
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill “does not honor anyone, but rather seeks to drive a narrative that isn’t substantiated by known facts,” he said. “We absolutely do want to show our gratitude and respect for the U.S. Capitol Police, so I removed the speaker’s false and politicized narrative in order to arrive at legislation that truly honors those who selflessly serve us in Congress.”
Cloud said his disagreement was with other language used in the resolution.
“I have always stood by and supported our brave law enforcement and still do but this bill was not truly about that despite its name,” he said in a statement. “Instead of simply being about honoring the Capitol Police who bravely protected the Capitol on January 6th, Speaker Pelosi included damaging language that unnecessarily weighs down the bill. The text refers to the Capitol as the temple of democracy — simply put, it’s not a temple and Congress should not refer to it as one. The federal government is not a god. “
Gooden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republican U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington of Lubbock and Kevin Brady of the Woodlands did not vote, but 30 other House members from Texas, including Democrats and Republicans, backed the resolution.
The resolution designating the honor was sponsored by Pelosi.
The legislation stated that “on January 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists 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.”
“The sacrifice of heroes including Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jeffrey Smith, and those who sustained injuries, and the courage of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman exemplify the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police officers, and those of other law enforcement agencies, to risk their lives in service of our country,” the speaker wrote.