GOP Rep. Proposes Bill Banning Convicted Protesters From Receiving Unemployment
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has introduced a bill “that would bar individuals from receiving federal unemployment assistance if they are convicted of a crime during a protest,” according to The Hill.
- On Friday, Banks introduced the Support Peaceful Protest Act, which “would target individuals who are convicted of federal offenses during the course of demonstrations,” the outlet reported.
- “According to a copy of the bill's text, people would be prohibited from receiving unemployment assistance under the CARES Act or any other aid package approved amid the coronavirus pandemic if they are convicted of a crime related to a protest, the report continued.
The legislation comes as large-scale demonstrations have swept the nation in response to the police killings of Black Americans. Protests erupted nationwide again last week following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
- Banks cited as motivation for his bill “scenes last week of protesters confronting people who attended the Republican National Convention outside the White House,” The Hill said.
- "My bill would take away the enhanced federal benefits — that $600 a week that these people are making to be professional protesters at night," Banks said, also suggesting that protesters were being paid by "left-wing groups."
In announcing the bill, Banks said in a statement: "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."