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Daines, Warren introduce legislation honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan

Daines Veterans Roundtable
Posted at 1:29 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 15:29:49-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are introducing a bipartisan bill honoring the 13 Americans who lost their lives in terrorist attacks during the withdrawal of forces in Afghanistan.

The 13 included 11 Marines, one Army soldier, and a member of the Navy who were killed in the blast at the Kabul airport which also took the lives of 60 Afghans. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the explosion in late August.

The measure introduced by the Montana Republican and the Massachusetts Democrat calls for the 13 to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

"Thirteen brave men and women gave the last full measure to protect Americans and our Afghan allies at a critical moment in our nation's history. They are American heroes," Daines said in a prepared statement. "On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to these heroes and their families, and to all who were the uniform and protect our freedom."

"These individuals demonstrated incredible courage throughout their careers, and we owe it to them to lass legislation to recognize their heroic service with the Congressional Gold Medal," Warren added in her statement.

Daines and Warren are pushing for Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss to be honored.

The proposal already had a long list of bipartisan support. The list includes:

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Michael Bennet (D-Color.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bernie Sanders (D-V.T.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Color.) have also cosponsored the bill.

Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

More on last month's attacks from CBS News.