Rioters could lose unemployment benefits under new bill in Congress

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A new bill is now in committee in Congress that would strip anyone convicted of a federal offense related that person’s conduct at a protest from receiving any federal financial assistance.  Representative Jim Banks introduced the “Support Peaceful Protest Act” that would require arrested rioters who were caught committing crimes like acts of violence, looting or vandalism to pay for the cost of federal policing of the riot and be ineligible for federal unemployment assistance.

“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?” said Rep. Banks. “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.”

In the case of an individual convicted of a Federal offense related to the individual’s conduct at and during the course of a protest with respect to which a Federal law enforcement officer was engaged in policing activity, the court shall, in addition to the penalty for such conviction, order the individual to pay an order of restitution to the appropriate Federal law enforcement agency in an amount that is equal to the cost of such policing activity, as determined by the court.

Additionally, an individual convicted of a Federal offense related to the individual’s conduct at and during the course of a protest, is ineligible for any Federal Pandemic Unem13 ployment Compensation under section 2104 of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9023) or any other Federal supplemental unemployment compensation during the 16 COVID–19 public health emergency (as such term is defined in section 2102 of the CARES Act.

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