Rep. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertLymphedema Treatment Act would provide a commonsense solution to a fixable problem Yoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm MORE (R-Wash.) has introduced legislation that would prevent incarcerated people from receiving unemployment benefits.

Reichert's bill, titled the Permanently Ending Receipt by Prisoners (PERP) Act, prohibits states from paying jobless benefits to prisoners who already don't meet a requirement of being available to work.

The Washington Republican, a former sheriff, said that incarcerated individuals are inherently unable to actively seek work while serving time in prison, which is a necessary qualification for unemployment insurance.


"It’s important that we protect these benefits for the hard-working, law-abiding men and women who have fallen on hard times and need to be able to put food on the table for their families," Reichert said in a statement. "It is simply wrong that we have not prevented this money from being misspent on those who do not deserve it, and we should act quickly to ensure it is redirected to those who do."

Under Reichert's proposal, state agencies administering unemployment insurance would have to compare recipient lists with inmate rosters to ensure there is no overlap.

The measure currently has two co-sponsors: Republican Reps. Charles Boustany (La.) and Jim Renacci (Ohio).