Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego announced a proposal Friday to strip benefits for active or retired military members who participated in the Capitol Riot on January 6, according to Stars and Stripes.
Gallego wrote a letter to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough and other top military officials March 18, stating, “Unfortunately, many veterans led or participated in this insurrection. Reporting suggests that nearly 20% of the insurrectionists were either veterans or military retirees, including some of the most violent members of the mob.”
The VA currently offers benefits such as disability and educational benefits, and access to health care, Stars and Stripes reported.
“Any veteran or service member who stormed the Capitol on January 6 forfeited their moral entitlement to privileged benefits at the expense of the people of the United States,” the letter read. (RELATED: POLL: Americans More Concerned About Violence Over The Summer Than Capitol Riot)
Gallego was a Marine Corps combat veteran and was deployed to Iraq as an infantryman in 2005, according to the biography on his website.
The congressman also called on McDonough to work with Secretary of Defense Loyd Austin and the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in identifying and prosecuting those involved in the riot.
“I ask you to quickly identify, investigate, and prosecute any active service member or retiree that participated in the attack under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” Gallego said.