Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a bill on Monday to prevent rioters from benefitting from federal unemployment benefits, which were raised in response to the coronavirus shutdowns, according to a press release.
Cotton’s bill followed the legislation that Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., introduced in the House last Friday, called the “Support Peaceful Protest Act.”
The bill would prevent any person who is convicted of a federal offense related to riots from any benefits that Congress created in response to the virus.
If the bill becomes law, then convicted rioters, looters, and arsonists would not receive the $400 unemployment benefit.
“Currently, thugs and insurrectionists savaging communities around the country are eligible for unemployment benefits, paid for by the very taxpayers whose property they’ve destroyed. The federal government should not be subsidizing looting and arson,” Cotton said.
“Our bill will not only halt unemployment benefits for rioters but also fine them to help cover additional policing cost,” he said.
Banks spoke about the bill on “Fox & Friends” on Sunday.
He said the idea came to him after Black Lives Matter agitators harassed an elderly couple, who he represents, while they were leaving the White House on Thursday after President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
“Let me say if this happened in a community in northeast Indiana, that Antifa thug would have been arrested and charged with assault and should be behind bars,” he said. “But they’re not because these big-city mayors are turning a blind eye to this type of violence.”
Banks said the American people may be indirectly contributing to the rioting, since the federal government is giving money to people for not working.
“There are probably a lot of left-wing groups, and George-Soros type groups that are funding it, but if you think about it so are you and I through our tax dollars that go to the enhanced unemployment benefits that these people receive,” he said.