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 HarrisEx-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Pollster says Trump's approval rating in 2020 will be impacted by Dem nominee 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchHatch warns 'dangerous' idea of court packing could hurt religious liberty Former Democratic aide pleads guilty to doxing GOP senators attending Kavanaugh hearing How do we prevent viral live streaming of New Zealand-style violence? MORE (R-Utah), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersCongress opens door to fraught immigration talks GOP campaign group goes after Senate Dems over 'Medicare for all' Bipartisan senators offer bill to expand electric vehicle tax credit MORE (D-Mich.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowDemocratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Bipartisan senators offer bill to expand electric vehicle tax credit 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 LawrenceHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI Bipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDemocrats, GOP poised to pounce on Mueller findings Facebook, Google face tough questions over white nationalism Lawmakers to grill tech companies over white nationalism 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.