Oct 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House approves medal for Kabul bombing victims

Six U.S. soldiers carry a coffin containing the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss off a military aircraft.
Dignified transfer for 13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul bombing. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images.

The House on Monday unanimously approved a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal for the 13 U.S. service members killed in an August bombing at the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul.

Why it matters: The resolution, which passed by voice vote and was co-sponsored by more than 300 House members in both parties, is a rare show of bipartisanship in a Congress that has often been bitterly divided on a range of issues, including Afghanistan.

  • Congressional Gold Medals have not been immune from the tension, with 21 House Republicans voting against medals for law enforcement officers who responded to the Jan. 6 attack.

What they're saying: "I cannot think of anyone more deserving of such a distinction. These brave service members represent the very best of America, knowingly putting themselves in harm's way to help evacuate thousands from the region," Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said in a floor speech.

  • "We can never thank them in a way that will make up for their loss. ... Awarding the Congress' highest honor is a small token of appreciation," Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), the bill's sponsor, said.

What's next: The measure now heads to the Senate, where Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have already introduced analogue legislation.

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