Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a bill this week to award Congress’ highest honor to Kyle Rittenhouse, less than one week after the teenager was found not guilty in his homicide trial.
The Georgia Republican introduced the bill on 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, Congressional Gold Medal requests need to be co-sponsored by two-thirds in both chambers of Congress — which are currently controlled by Democrats — making the chances of Greene’s bill succeeding very low. After it is co-sponsored, the bill would then be considered by the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs before being authorized by the president.
The honor is awarded to individuals and groups “to express public gratitude for distinguished contributions, dramatize the virtues of patriotism, and perpetuate the remembrance of great events,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Past recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal are George Washington, golfer Jack Nicklaus, astronaut Neil Armstrong, the 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 not guilty on all charges.
However, Biden still admitted that the verdict made him and many Americans “angry and concerned.”
Rittenhouse faced charges of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangerment after he fatally shot two men and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. The jury cleared him after the defense argued he acted out of self-defense.
Several Republican lawmakers celebrated Rittenhouse’s acquittal last week, with some, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), even offered the teenager an internship.
Rittenhouse’s defense lawyer Mark Richard slammed the offers as “disgusting,” accusing the members of Congress of only trying to cash in on the case.
“There’s a lot of people trying to profit on this, and I don’t think people should,” he told Insider. “They’re raising money on it, and you have all these Republican congressmen saying, ‘Come work for me.’
“They want to trade on his celebrity, and I think it’s disgusting,” Richards added.
When pressed about Greene’s proposal, a spokesman for Gaetz told the Washington Post that their office was “concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office.”
Since he was acquitted, Rittenhouse has given a televised interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson and met privately with former President Donald Trump at his Mar A Lago club in Florida.