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 HarrisBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll Analysis: Harris, Buttigieg and Trump lead among California donations The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school Alarm sounds over census cybersecurity concerns MORE (D-Mich.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowDemocrats grill USDA official on relocation plans that gut research staff USDA expected to lose two-thirds of research staff in move to Kansas City GOP Senate challenger in Michigan raises .5 million in less than a month 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 LawrenceHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Lee Zeldin responds to Ilhan Omar accusing him of 'bigotry' Ilhan Omar: Endorsement of Black-Jewish Caucus 'isn't an endorsement of Zeldin's bigotry' MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Trump praises GOP unity in opposing resolution condemning tweets House votes to condemn Trump for 'racist comments' 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.