Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene presented a bill this week to award congressional highest honor to Kyle Rittenhouse, less than a week after the teenager was found not guilty in his murder case.
The Republican from Georgia presented the bill Tuesday. A summary of the bill says the measure would “award a congressional gold medal to Kyle H. Rittenhouse, who protected the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”
To be successful, requests for the Congressional Gold Medal must be sponsored by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress – which are currently controlled by Democrats – making the chances of Greene’s bill succeed very low. After being co-sponsored, the bill will then be considered by the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs before being approved by the President.
The honor is bestowed on individuals and groups “for expressing public gratitude for distinguished contributions, dramatizing the virtues of patriotism, and perpetuating the memory of great events,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Past recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal include George Washington, golfer Jack Nicklaus, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Tuskegee Airmen, Rosa Parks, Pope John Paul II and baseball player Jackie Robinson.
Congress and President Biden have defended the jury’s verdict in the Rittenhouse trial – which found the 18-year-old innocent on all charges.
Biden, however, still admitted that the verdict made him and many Americans “angry and worried.”
Rittenhouse faced charges of murder, attempted murder and reckless endangerment after he fatally shot two men and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. The jury acquitted him after the defense claimed he was acting in self-defense.
Several Republican lawmakers celebrated Rittenhouse’s acquittal last week, with some, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Even offered the teen an internship.
Rittenhouse’s defense attorney Mark Richard criticized the offers as “disgusting”, accusing members of Congress of only trying to monetize the case.
“There are a lot of people trying to profit from this, and I don’t think people should,” he told Insider. “They’re raising money for it, and you have all these Republican congressmen saying, ‘Come and work for me.’
“They want to trade with his celebrity, and I think that’s disgusting,” Richards added.
When he was pressured about Greene’s proposal, a spokesman for Gaetz told the Washington Post that their office was “concerned that awarding Kyle a congressional gold medal would give him a big head during his internship at our office.”
Since his acquittal, Rittenhouse has given a television interview to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and met privately with former President Donald Trump at his Mar A Lago club in Florida.