capitol scuffle
"Insurrectionists should not enjoy benefits they no longer deserve."

Last week, Congressman Ruben Gallegos (D-AZ) called on Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to withdraw benefits from active-duty service members, veterans, and military retirees who participated in the US Capitol riot on January 6.

"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," the congressman who is also a US Marine Corps veteran wrote in a letter.

The benefits included affordable healthcare options, disability compensation, and vocational opportunities. Benefits that representative Gallegos says the average American doesn't receive.

"Yet, many of the veterans and service members who attacked their own government actively and enthusiastically enjoy benefits not available to their fellow citizens," said Gallegos.

"This situation is unjust. Any retiree or service member who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 forfeited their moral entitlement to the support of the people of the United States," Gallegos added.

According to an NPR report, nearly 1 in 5 participants in the attack on the US Capitol had a military background.

Gallegos called on McDonough to work with Attorney General Merrick Garland, citing 38 U.S. Code § 6104 which covers benefits for veterans and their dependents, as means to identify those who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and revoke their benefits.

To date, federal prosecutors have charged more than 300 individuals who participated in the Capitol riot, Business Insider reports. Gallegos also sent letters to Garland, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking them to "quickly identify, investigate and prosecute any active service member or retiree who participated in the attack."

"Insurrectionists should not enjoy benefits they no longer deserve," Gallegos added.