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Democrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face'

Numerous congressional Democrats criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE Wednesday for awarding the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh during the State of the Union address the previous evening.

“There is no 'both sides' to this issue. Rush Limbaugh is a racist who uses his platform to inspire other racists,” Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushCongress: Support the ARC Act to prevent amputations Hillicon Valley: Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading 'falsehoods' House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks MORE (D-Ill.) tweeted. “Rewarding him with a #MedalOfFreedom is a slap in the face to every person who ACTUALLY deserved that honor.”

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“It’s disappointing President Trump presented Rush Limbaugh, someone who has dedicated their life to dividing this country, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and not Brigadier General and Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee,” tweeted Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturHouse Democrats pick DeLauro to lead Appropriations panel DeLauro wins Steering Committee vote for Appropriations chair DeLauro racks up labor endorsements for Appropriations gavel MORE (D-Ohio), referencing a veteran of the African American fighter pilot unit who was also a guest at the address.

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Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuHouse Democrats urge congressional leaders to support .1B budget for IRS Democratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted several incendiary quotes from Limbaugh, including his 2012 reference to Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying in support of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage mandate, as well as his false accusation that actor Michael J. Fox was “exaggerating the effects” of Parkinson’s disease for an ad in support of then-Senate candidate Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: 'Hypocrisy' for GOP to target Biden nominee's tweets after Trump Democrats must turn around Utah police arrest man driving 130 mph claiming he was going to kill former Missouri senator MORE (D-Mo.).

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Rep. James Himes (D-Conn.) tweeted a compilation of similar quotes paired with audio of Trump’s recognition of Limbaugh, adding that he had “deep sympathy for anyone facing a life-and-death health issue, and wish Mr. Limbaugh a speedy recovery” after the radio host’s announcement earlier this week that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

Congressional Republicans defended the decision to award Limbaugh the medal, with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Senate committee approves nominations of three FEC commissioners Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE (R-Texas) calling him "a fierce freedom fighter and defender of the Constitution. He serves as an inspiration for the conservative movement and for Americans across the country" and House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future MORE (R-La.) claiming on Fox News that Limbaugh "inspired millions of people, still does, to this day" and criticizing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (D-Calif.) for not standing to honor him.