WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) made the following statement upon House passage of bipartisan legislation to award Steve Gleason with a 2019 Congressional Gold Medal. 

“In Louisiana, Steve Gleason inspired all of us as a New Orleans Saint and has continued to inspire us with his bravery and service to others battling ALS. More than 5,000 people each year are diagnosed with ALS, and Steve Gleason serves as a leading voice in championing the fight against ALS. I am pleased to announce that to honor this service, Congress is awarding Steve Gleason a Congressional Gold Medal. More than 350 Members of Congress signed on to support this legislation, a sign of how powerful a mark Steve Gleason has made on this country. Thank you, Steve.”

Steve Gleason is being honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for his work as an advocate for all who suffer from neurological diseases, like ALS. Gleason’s advocacy led Microsoft to create advanced eye-tracking communication technology and Congress to pass the Steve Gleason Act and the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act. These bills helped make eye-tracking and communication devices more accessible to those who rely on them. 

With this honor, Gleason is counted in the ranks of previous awardees, including former presidents, civil rights leaders, military heroes, and distinguished public servants. 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), U.S. Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), and U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced this bipartisan, bicameral legislation in April of this year. 

Background on Legislative Process:
Gold Medal bills originate from the Financial Services Committee in the House and Banking Committee in the Senate. For the Body to consider these bills, the support of a 2/3rd majority is required.

Sen. Cassidy’s bill secured 73 cosponsors and passed the Senate on June 14, 2018.

The House companion (Richmond-Scalise bill) went from 55 cosponsors on December 6, 2018 to more than 290 cosponsors on December 19, 2018, surpassing the cosponsor threshold. Whip Scalise then secured a vote in the House on the Stephen Michael Gleason Congressional Gold Medal Act before conclusion of the 115th Congress.