Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego is pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs to strip benefits of veterans who attended the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to a report by Business Insider.
“Any veteran, retiree, or servicemember who attacked the Capitol on January 6 should be stripped of all veterans’ benefits,” said Gallego. “They simply don’t deserve them.”
“The behavior of these individuals is not representative of the large population of American veterans, the vast majority of whom served honorably and are appalled by the thought of insurrection in the country they served,” continued Gallego. “Yet, many of the veterans and service members who attacked their own Government actively and enthusiastically enjoy special benefits given to them by their fellow citizens.”
According to NPR, around 20% of defendants charged in the Capitol riots had some sort of military background.
“This situation is unjust,” claims Gallego. “Any veteran or servicemember who stormed the Capitol on January 6th forfeited their moral entitlement to privileged benefits at the expense of the people of the United States.”
Gallego, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, asked Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to withdraw benefits from active duty service members, veterans, and military retirees who participated in the riots.
McDonough was also asked by Gallego to work with current Attorney General Merrick Garland to identify veterans and service members who were present at the riots.
Gallego also reached out to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, tasking them to “quickly identify, investigate, and prosecute any active service member or retiree that participated in the attack.”