A new bill introduced Friday would strip people arrested amid riots of federal unemployment benefits, and bar them from receiving such benefits in the future.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the legislation, titled the “Support Peaceful Protest Act.”
“Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities, disrupting peaceful protests and leaving violence, looting and vandalism in their wake. They turned Milwaukee, Seattle, and Portland into warzones, and now they’re moving the chaos to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who knows which community is next?” Banks said in a statement, referring to a far-left, anarcho-communist group that openly espouses violence.
“Due to enhanced federal benefits, taxpayers are giving wages to jobless rioters that are destroying our communities. We need to cut them off from their funding and make them feel the full financial consequences of their actions,” he added.
The bill says any person convicted of a federal offense related to their conduct at and during the course of a protest would become ineligible for federal pandemic unemployment compensation or any other federal supplemental unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The other portion of the legislation would make a convicted person pay restitution to the federal law enforcement agency that had officers working at the protest.
The amount would be equal to the cost of policing activity, as determined by the court.
Riots broke out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday after the police shooting of a 29-year-old man who resisted arrest. Rioters burned buildings, including small businesses, and looted widely.
Ongoing unrest has plagued Seattle and Portland for months.
In Washington late Thursday, an angry mob confronted lawmakers and others leaving the White House following Republican National Convention events, including a speech from President Donald Trump.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the people were shouting death threats at him.
Eight people were taken into custody, according to arrest records.