The United States House of Representatives recently voted 373-4 to award Jack Nicklaus the Congressional Gold Medal
. Even though the overwhelming majority of congresspeople voted AYE, the four congresspeople who voted NAY caught the eye of Deadspin.com writer Patrick Burns, who decided to find out who voted against the bill and why.
Rep. Justin Amash:
"The Congressional Gold Medal originally was awarded for acts of heroism, especially during war. George Washington was the first recipient, and until the Civil War, the medal was given only to members of the Armed Forces. In the late 1800s, Congress began awarding the medal to civilians in recognition of other talents or achievements. In the 1900s, Congress awarded many more medals, sometimes to celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and John Wayne. I think the original purpose of the Congressional Gold Medal is better than Congress's modern practice. Jack Nicklaus had a legendary golfing career. But I think it's better to reserve the medal for those whose heroism and self-sacrifice was made to save the lives of others. I voted "no."
Spokeswoman for Rep. Jason Chaffetz:
"Congress has better ways to spend their time and more important things to do than making and passing resolutions for golfers."
Spokesman for Rep. Scott Rigell:
"The Congressman believes these awards should only be handed out to those who have sacrificed their lives protecting our freedom."
Rep. Reid Ribble:
"As members of Congress we need to be doing real work, not just filling time—especially when our economy is struggling and our nation is $15 trillion in debt. As a golfer myself, I love Jack Nicklaus, but I love my grandchildren more."
It makes sense to bestow the Golden Bear, who is one of the best (if not THE best) golfer of all time, with one of the highest civilian awards, especially if you consider the fact Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson are among the recipients. But, as the saying goes, "Hatas gon hate
Image via Flickr, Ed
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