Lawmakers move to award posthumous Congressional Gold Medal to Aretha Franklin
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has taken legislative action to posthumously award a Congressional Gold Medal to music legend Aretha Franklin.

In a bill introduced in the Senate Tuesday, Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris criticized by Jamaican father over marijuana joke Harris adds key Clinton aide, women of color to 2020 campaign: report Coast Guard lieutenant arrested, accused of planning domestic terrorism MORE (D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R-Utah), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersDems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt Lawmakers push to award Aretha Franklin the Congressional Gold Medal Congress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump MORE (D-Mich.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowLand conservation tax incentives should inspire charitable giving, not loopholes Four names emerge for UN position: report Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal MORE (D-Mich.) praised Franklin, who died last week, for her “contributions of outstanding artistic and historical significance.”

“Franklin’s musical talents have influenced generations of musicians and political leaders,” the bill reads. 


The 18-time Grammy Award winner died Aug. 16 at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.

The act introduced Tuesday also recognizes Franklin’s philanthropic work to promote civil rights and health and gender equality, and adds that her talents “instilled hope, uplifted generations, and changed the lives of millions of people across the globe.”

Hatch wrote on Twitter that he is “honored” to co-sponsor the legislation to “honor the legendary Aretha Franklin in this small way.”

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceDem lawmaker says Trump administration has kicked ethics standards 'to the curb' Dem lawmaker calls for investigation of Fairfax over assault allegations Dem responds to ‘trolls’ who said wearing white made female lawmakers look like nurses MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDems seize on Times bombshell to push allegations of Trump obstruction The Hill's Morning Report - Can Bernie recapture 2016 magic? House panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales MORE (R-Ga.) also co-sponsored a version of the legislation in the House, according to Variety.

Lawrence praised the “Queen of Soul” after her death last week, writing that Frankin’s “life and legacy has left us all with something we can truly feel.”

“An iconic entertainer, powerful civil rights leader and a beautiful spirit who I am privileged to call friend,” Lawrence said in a statement. “She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.”

The Congressional Gold Medal, which has been presented to a number of entertainers including Frank Sinatra, is Congress’s highest civilian honor.

Franklin performed for three presidents during her career.