U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert was one of only 21 members of Congress, and the only Colorado congressional member, to vote against a bill to award the Capitol Police and D.C. police department with medals honoring their role in defending the U.S. Capitol.
Despite voting in favor of an earlier version of the bill on March 17, the Silt Republican said in a statement to the press that she voted against the new bill because the measure, introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was more about politics than about honoring law enforcement.
“Once again Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats prove that there is no level they won’t stoop to,” she said in the statement. “Using the death of an officer in April to try and score cheap political points is shameful. I’m not here to play their partisan games.”
The congresswoman was referring to Officer William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the Capitol Police who was killed April 2 when a man intentionally drove his car into Evans and other officers at a Capitol barricade, and then threatened police with a knife. The man was later killed by police.
Evans was not listed in the earlier bill because that incident hadn’t yet occurred.
The first measure, also introduced by Pelosi, had 335 co-sponsors, including 127 Republicans.
While the bill that Boebert voted against, H.R. 3325, mentions Evans, it primarily refers to law enforcement’s defense of the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, calling it an “insurrection.”
It also cites the seven people who died, the 140 law enforcement officers who were injured and the 15 who were hospitalized.
Here’s all that the bill says about Evans: “On April 2, 2021, Officer Williams ‘Billy’ Evans was killed while protecting the North Barricade of the Capitol. Officer Evans was a distinguished member of the First Responders Unit and an eighteen-year veteran of the United States Capitol Police.”
Boebert did not explain why she thought that mention of Evans was partisan.
Even though all other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation voted for the bill, including GOP U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck, Boebert joined with other Republicans opposing it, including U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
In a Politico story after the March bill passed 413-12, which also was introduced by Pelosi, Greene said she opposed it because it referred to the Jan. 6 incident as an insurrection.
Boebert’s vote was quickly condemned by Colorado Democrats.
“U.S. Capitol police officers put their lives on the line to defend our nation’s capital from insurrectionists and domestic terrorists on January 6,” said David Pourshoushtari, spokesman for the Colorado Democratic Party. “Honoring their service shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but apparently congresswoman Boebert disagrees.”
Boebert’s dissenting vote goes against several statements she has made in support of law enforcement, including the Capitol Police.
Two days after the Jan. 6 attack, and responding to the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick as a result of it, Boebert thanked law enforcement for their actions.
“Thanks you Capitol Hill Police for your tireless service,” Boebert wrote on Twitter. “For the past two months I have noticed your dedication and I’ve noticed there is not a single day you are not on high alert. Thank you for your unending bravery.”
Boebert claims that a House ethics committee “cleared” her of a complaint questioning her role in possibly aiding rioters during the attack.
In actuality, however, the 10-member panel didn’t have enough votes to approve an investigation.
The panel is made up of five Republicans and five Democrats, but the committee didn’t reveal the vote tally.
A similar complaint filed against Boebert is pending before the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is operated by nonpartisan staff and not elected representatives.