SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Former defense secretary Gen. James Mattis will be nominated for the Congressional Gold Medal.

Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse says he will introduce a bill to give Mattis the highest honor the U.S. Congress can bestow.

Mattis has ties to Pullman and the Tri-Cities. He was the keynote speaker at a dinner in Spokane on Thursday night.

“Some of you may not be aware of this award – it is the highest honor the United States Congress can bestow,” Newhouse said during the dinner. “It is not something handed out often, and frankly it is very difficult to get signed into law…I want you all to know, as this is the first time I am making it publicly known, that I will be working my hardest to ensure General Mattis is the next distinguished leader to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.”

Newhouse says the medal would honor Mattis for his distinguished military career, his character and his patriotism. The legislation will be introduced Monday and has the support of the entire Washington congressional delegation.

Mattis served as defense secretary under President Donald Trump before resigning in late 2018.

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