Violent protesters would be ineligible for federal unemployment under newly-proposed bill


WASHINGTON (WXIN/WFLA) – A new bill introduced in Congress last week looks to punish violent protesters by prohibiting them from receiving federal unemployment assistance.

The Support Peaceful Protest Act was proposed by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. on Friday. He said the bill is designed to crack down on violence and looting.

Rep. Jim Banks
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

“Due to enhanced federal benefits, taxpayers are giving wages to jobless rioters that are destroying our communities,” he said in a statement. “We need to cut them off from their funding and make them feel the full financial consequences of their actions.”

According to the bill’s text, anyone convicted of a federal offense related to their conduct at and during a protest would be ineligible for federal pandemic unemployment compensation through the CARES Act. They would also be ineligible for any other federal supplemental unemployment compensation.

The bill would also order individuals to pay restitution to a law enforcement agency that responded to the disturbance they caused and cover the costs of federal policing of demonstrations.

“Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities, disrupting peaceful protests and leaving violence, looting and vandalism in their wake,” Rep. Banks said. “They turned Milwaukee, Seattle and Portland into warzones, and now they’re moving the chaos to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who knows which community is next?”


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