EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy To Introduce New Legislation To Protect America’s Statues

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will introduce new legislation Thursday to protect the statues of historic figures across the U.S. as monuments across the country have been destroyed by rioters or otherwise torn down in an unlawful fashion, the Daily Caller has learned.

McCarthy’s bill is titled the “Protect America’s Statues Act of 2020.” The legislation would prevent state or local entities that do not protect monuments established under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003 or enact policies that undermine the Anti-Riot Act from receiving federal historic preservation and transit capital investment grants.

The Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act prohibits the destruction of any “structure, plaque, statue, or other monument…commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

“Public monuments are indispensable because they tell the American story. It is wrong to erase our history. We should be learning from it. Instead, leftwing mobs in cities across the country are destroying statues of General Grant, St. Serra, Christopher Columbus, and abolitionists. This is lawlessness in its purest and most unacceptable form. Yet too many liberal mayors and governors won’t restore order or arrest the rioters, the most basic duties of government,” McCarthy told the Daily Caller.

“Many seem to agree with Speaker Pelosi, who excused mob rule as ‘people will do what they do,’ as if that absolves them of their failure to follow the law. If state and local officials will not protect historical monuments, then Congress must and will. My legislation has real consequences for states and cities: no order, no funding. It is time to respect our laws, protect our history, and punish the statue smashers,” McCarthy continued.


McCarthy to Introduce New Legislation to Protect America’s Statues by Daily Caller on Scribd

Some other important parts of the bill:

  • “Requires the Attorney General to designate any state, local government, or other jurisdiction as an “ineligible entity” if they enact laws, regulations, policies or procedures that contravene the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act (18 USC 1369) or the Anti-Riot Act (18 USC 2101)”
  • “Requires a list of ineligible entities be provided to Congress within 30 days; Prevents the Secretary of Transportation from approving any federal transit capital investment grant applications from an ineligible entity.”
  • “Requires the Secretary of Interior to rescind 75% of any historic preservation grants provided to an ineligible entity and prevents the Secretary from awarding future grants to these entities.”

This comes as the Daily Caller contacted every Senate Democrat’s office asking them if they believe George Washington statues should be removed. In early July, Democratic Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a frontrunner to be the vice-presidential nominee to 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, said she would be willing to hear out arguments for removing statues of Washington. (RELATED: Senate Democrats, To A One, Refuse To Defend George Washington Statues)

Rioters have continued to try to take down statues, including the statue of President Andrew Jackson in front of the White House while attempting to create a “Black House Autonomous Zone.” Police stepped up and made sure the statue was not taken down. (RELATED: George Washington Monument Defaced In New York City)

A statue of Washington was also covered with red paint in New York City.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the removal of statues and has said protesters who try to remove them should be arrested.