Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be introducing a companion bill in the Senate that would strengthen federal penalties for anyone participating or aiding or participating in riots from five years in prison to ten years.

The legislation is the Senate partner to that of one originally introduced by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) in November called the BRICKS Act. 

The penalty goes to 25 years if there is serious bodily injury inflicted, and life in prison if someone is killed.

Buck will be introducing the bill to the new Congress on Monday, and Cotton will be introducing his legislation to the Senate at a later date. 

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Bills To Be Introduced In The House and Senate

Cotton said of the legislation, “Those who use violence to advance their political agenda must be met with the full force of the law-no matter their party affiliation. This bill will strengthen our laws to deter political violence and prevent further destruction.”

Buck’s plan to reintroduce the bill in the House comes in the wake of political violence on Jan. 6 as Trump supporters clashed with Capitol Police during a protest against the certification of the presidential election results. 

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Will Biden Condemn All Political Violence?

On Thursday night, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Twitter, called for President Joe Biden to condemn violence that broke out on Inauguration Day in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. 

Grassley had not commented on what he would like to hear Biden say about the protests, and as of Thursday evening, the president had made no official statement regarding the West Coast violence.

In his inauguration speech on Wednesday, Biden issued a call for unity. “Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for a total war, and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”

“My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this. And I believe America is so much better than this.”

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Violence Breaks Out In West Coast Cities

As Joe Biden called for unity, protests and violence broke out in Portland and Seattle on Wednesday night. Businesses and buildings were vandalized, windows shattered, and slogans like, “F- Biden!” were spray painted on walls.

Protesters carried signs that read,  “We don’t want Biden we want revenge!” and “We are ungovernable.” 

Police in Portland say roughly 150 people were involved.

In downtown Seattle, several people were arrested during similar unrest and violence.