Well, we don’t expect this piece of legislation to go anywhere in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, but it’s not the worst idea we’ve ever heard. Last week, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced a bill that would make people ineligible for federal coronavirus unemployment money if they are convicted of vandalism, rioting, or looting. The Support Peaceful Protest Act would also hold convicted rioters responsible for the financial cost of providing federal law enforcement to cities affected by their lawless actions.
“Antifa thugs are descending on suffering communities, disrupting peaceful protests and leaving violence, looting and vandalism in their wake,” Banks said in an announcement. “They turned Milwaukee, Seattle and Portland into warzones, and now they’re moving the chaos to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Who knows which community is next? 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.”
Banks’s bill reads, in part:
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.
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 Unemployment Compensation under section 2104 of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9023) or any other Federal supplemental unemployment compensation during the COVID–19 public health emergency (as such term is defined in section 2102 of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 18 9021).
Well, like we said, this bill is DOA in the Pelosi-controlled House. She can barely bring herself to acknowledge that there are any such riots going on, much less come around to issuing a statement of condemnation. This is starting to change a little with the polls – it turns out Americans are not all that impressed with scenes of arson and violence in the supposed name of “Black Lives Matter” – but there’s no way more than a handful of Democrats would ever support a bill like this one. They are far too afraid of the BLM backlash.