Rioters, looters could lose unemployment benefits under new bill

Rioters and looters would lose federal unemployment benefits and be forced to pay for extra policing needed at protests under a new bill being introduced by a military-veteran congressman.

“Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities, disrupting peaceful protests and leaving violence, looting and vandalism in their wake,” Indiana Rep. Jim Banks said while introducing his “Support Peaceful Protest Act” on Friday.

“They turned Milwaukee, Seattle and Portland into war zones, and now they’re moving the chaos to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who knows which community is next?” he asked in a statement.

Looters steal from a store in Union Square as a racial justice protest takes place nearby in New York.Stephen Yang

Banks — who was deployed to Afghanistan as a Supply Corps officer with the US Navy Reserve — wants to strip anyone convicted of federal offenses during protests of extra unemployment from the CARES Act helping jobless Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

His measure would also hold those convicted financially liable for the cost of law enforcement “in an amount that is equal to the cost of such policing activity,” the bill says.

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