Lawmakers introduce bill to hold rioters responsible for destruction

The scene in Atlanta following a June 2020 protest.

A group of Republican lawmakers introduced a bill to hold rioters responsible for destruction nationwide.

U.S. Reps. Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona, and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020. It would hold rioters accountable for their actions and guarantee local officials do not ignore the chaos.

“We have laws in our country for a reason and if cities and states choose not to uphold them, they should not be rewarded with money from federal grants,” Lesko said in a statement. “I hope this bill will incentivize cities and states to follow the law and hold rioters accountable. There is no place in our nation for this lawlessness.”

The legislation gives the attorney general the power to withhold up to 10 percent of grants from the Department of Justice (DOJ) from jurisdictions where prosecutors do not prosecute crimes stemming from riots and violent protests.

The DOJ is responsible for determining prosecutorial misconduct to implement this legislation.

“Chaos and violence have no place in American cities,” Jordan said in a statement. “It’s time for Democrats to denounce violent left-wing extremism, reject efforts to defund the police, and hold anarchists and criminals accountable for their lawlessness.”

Ted Budd, R-North Carolina; Michael Burgess, R-Texas; Doug Collins, R-Georgia; Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina; Matt Gaetz, R-Florida; Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio; Paul Gosar, R-Arizona; Michael Guest, R-Mississippi; Jody Hice, R-Georgia; Fred Keller, R-Pennsylvania; Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsylvania; Greg Steube, R-Florida; Tom Tiffany, R-Wisconsin; Randy Weber, R-Texas; and Ted Yoho, R-Florida, joined in the legislation.

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