Senate passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill in overwhelming bipartisan vote
The Senate voted 94-1 on Thursday to pass legislation that aims to improve anti-Asian hate crime tracking and identification.
Why it matters: It's a rare bipartisan endorsement of a bill by the 50-50 Senate, and comes in the wake of a spike of anti-Asian hate crimes over the last year. Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) was lone Republican to vote against the bill.
Details: The bill will train law enforcement to better identify anti-Asian racism and appoint an official in the Justice Department to review and expedite COVID-19-related hate crime reports, among other measures.
- After opposition from Republicans, an amendment replaced wording related to "COVID-19 hate crimes" with "hate crimes," while specifically mentioning the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
- Another Republican-backed amendment will provide grants to state and local governments to help with hate crime reporting.
What's next: The legislation is likely to pass in the House and head to Biden's desk for a signature.