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WATCH LIVE: Vice president hosts Medal of Valor ceremony

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The White House ceremony underscores efforts by the Obama administration to avoid looming sequestration cuts that could result in furloughs for first-responders and an effort spearheaded by Biden to pass new regulations on firearms.

Recipients of the award to be honored at Wednesday's event are primarily public-safety officials who demonstrate bravery in the face of armed suspects and assailants. They include a Minnesota policewoman who was shot — and whose partner was killed — responding to an estranged ex-husband who had broken into a woman's apartment; a Florida corrections officer who disarmed an inmate who had taken a fellow officer hostage; and an Arkansas wildlife officer who inserted himself into the midst of a violent firefight to save the life of fellow officers.

The list of honorees for Wednesday's ceremony, as provided by the White House: Officers Julie Olson, Reeshemah Taylor, Sean Haller, Rafael Rivera, Timothy McClintick, Max McDonald and Douglas Weaver; Wildlife Officer Michael Neel; Troopers Robert Lombardo and Joshua Miller (posthumously); Firefighters Peter Demontreux, Hope Scott and William Reynolds; Deputy Sheriff Krista McDonald; Deputies Cameron Justus (posthumously) and William Stiltner (posthumously); and Sergeants Karl Lounge Jr. and Thomass Baitinger (posthumously).

The Medal of Valor was first established in 2001, and has been awarded 78 times, including Wednesday's recipients.

Read more on The Hill's Blog Briefing Room.