FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana is set to introduce a new piece of legislation called the Defending America’s Heritage and Culture Act, that will make desecrating presidential memorials a federal offense.
This bill amends the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003 to include statues and memorials to former U.S. presidents and all those individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Under the act, someone who violently disrespects memorials of presidents or America’s Founding Fathers could face a federal punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
“Attacks on our national heroes denigrate what makes us American and aim to destroy what binds us as Americans,” said Banks. “They’re serious crimes that deserve serious punishment.”
In a lengthy Facebook post, Rep. Banks explained his disgust about the recent displays of statutes being pulled down across the nation, not of Confederate soldiers but of America’s Founding Fathers.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the federal government’s intention “to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act.”