Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) will introduce three new pieces of legislation on Wednesday that aim to curb rioters, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
“Under lenient leftist policies, insurrectionists around the country continue to pillage America’s communities. It’s past time we cracked down on their destructive actions,” Cotton told Breitbart News. “My legislation will incapacitate these rioters to prevent further destruction and increase penalties against them, making the punishment fit their crimes.”
Cotton’s legislation is designed to make it more difficult for rioters to get bailed out of jail upon arrest, create avenues for rioting victims to sue rioters, and to cut rioters off from federal unemployment benefits—a Senate companion to a House bill from Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) exclusively reported on by Breitbart News.
The first bill, the “No Catch-and-Release for Rioters Act,” would create a rebuttable presumption against allowing bail for those charged with participating in a riot. The second bill, the “Rioting Restitution Act,” would make, according to Sen. Cotton’s office, “a federal, private, civil cause of action against rioters who meet the federal definition of rioting.” It would also allow for treble—or triple—damages, per the statute if the law were adopted.
The third bill is the Senate companion to Banks’ House bill, the “Support Peaceful Protest Act,” which makes those convicted of rioting on federal charges ineligible for federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act—which created a temporary first-ever federal unemployment supplemental program in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cotton’s Senate bill, like Banks’ House bill, makes those convicted of federal crimes, when it comes to rioting, unable to receive such federal benefits.
Riots across the country in American cities—which leftists have steered into American suburbs such as Kenosha, Wisconsin—have upended the 2020 presidential race. President Donald Trump has surged in polls as his challenger, Democrat nominee former Vice President Joe Biden, was slow to condemn the violence tearing the country apart. Biden has, after months of ignoring the violence, now tried to blame Trump for it even though the people conducting the riots are on the political left and that riots are happening in almost every case in cities and states with Democrat Party leadership, not in places with Republican leadership.
Cotton has been front and center fighting the leftist violence, both in official actions such as introducing Senate legislation and also in the political arena. He has released battleground state ads framing this as a key part of the 2020 presidential race between Trump and Biden.