WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over the Capitol Police, released the statement below after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) classified the passing of Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood following the January 6 attack on the Capitol as a line-of-duty death. 

“Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood was a selfless public servant who defended our democracy on January 6. The decision by the Justice Department to classify his passing as a line-of-duty death is an important recognition of his sacrifice, for which all of us who work at the Capitol are deeply indebted. My thoughts are with his family – who have diligently fought for this recognition."

As Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, Klobuchar led bipartisan legislation in the Senate to honor the law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol, including Liebengood, with the Congressional Gold Medal. This legislation unanimously passed Congress and was signed by the President in August 2021. 

Klobuchar also introduced bipartisan legislation with Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO), which was signed into law in December 2021, and held oversight hearings on improvements to Capitol Police policies and procedures to protect the Capitol.

After House passage in May 2022, the Senate unanimously passed legislation in August 2022 to expand the program of death and disability benefits to families of officers killed in the line-of-duty. President Biden signed the legislation into law in August 2022.