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 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? MORE (D-Calif.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (R-Utah), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersOn The Trail: Why 2020 is the most important election in our lifetime Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Bipartisan group of senators introduces legislation to boost state cybersecurity leadership MORE (D-Mich.) and Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event 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 LawrenceHouse Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest DCCC adds senior staffers after summer departures MORE (D-Mich.) and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsCollins expected to announce Georgia Senate bid Meadows: Republicans who break with Trump could face political repercussions GOP senator: Romney trying to 'appease the left' with impeachment witnesses 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.