Congress Joe Baca (D-California) announced that he is giving up his effort to award Tiger Woods a Congressional Gold Medal for his work toward promoting good sportsmanship and breaking down barriers.

"In light of the recent developments surrounding Tiger Woods and his family, I will not pursue legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal this session," said Baca in a statement.%%DynaPub-Enhancement class="enhancement contentType-HTML Content fragmentId-1 payloadId-61603 alignment-right size-small"%%

Baca had introduced the bill in March, but House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank had not yet acted on it -- perhaps because the financial crisis left him with more important things to worry about than giving a piece of gold to the first billionaire athlete in the world.

The Bill reads, "To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to Tiger Woods, in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship, and in breaking barriers with grace and dignity by showing that golf is a sport for all people."

Back in May, the House of Representatives voted 422-1 to award the Gold Medal to Arnold Palmer. The one dissident? Congressman Ron Paul, of course, who objected to the notion of using taxpayer money to give pieces of gold to rich athletes. In fact, Congressman Paul voted against every Congressional Gold Medal proposed during his time in Congress. A spokeswoman for Paul said at the time that "Dr. Paul opposes using public monies for any and all of these gold medals given to private citizens, just on principle. Not to mention, it is unconstitutional to use taxpayer dollars in this way.

He even suggested on the House Floor before he voted against Rosa Parks's medal that if it meant so much to the Members of Congress, why not fund the award out of their own pockets? He pulled $100 out of his own wallet, but had no other takers. At a time like this when all budgets are stretched so thin, it seems especially inappropriate to lavish gifts like this on private citizens, as much as he may admire the individual."


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