After vandalism at White House anti-Israel protest, bill introduced to protect monuments

Anti-Israel graffiti on monuments and statues across from the White House on June 9, 2024. Credit: Andrew Leyden/Shutterstock.

(JNS) — The newly introduced Saving Treasured Artifacts Through Uniform Enforcement (STATUE) Act calls for a minimum of five years in prison and monetary fines for vandalizing “a structure, plaque, statue or other monument on public property.”

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced the bill on June 13.

“Any protester who defaces statues of America’s heroes must face the full extent of the law,” Cotton said. “As Joe Biden seeks to appease the pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic Party, it’s clear his administration won’t do anything to punish the protesters who defaced the area around the White House recently.”

“The Senate should take up my legislation to punish these pro-Hamas lunatics,” Cotton added.

The bill would require a minimum sentence of five years and at least $1,000 in fines — or the cost of the damage if it is greater than $1,000 — for those who deface monuments on federal property.