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Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) (left) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced the anti-Asian hate crimes legislation. Photos: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket and Shawn Thew/Pool via Getty Images

In a rare bipartisan vote of 92-6, the Senate advanced legislation aimed at improving anti-Asian hate crime tracking and identification.

Why it matters: The bill had looked initially unlikely to garner the 60 votes necessary to end debate and move to a final vote. But Republicans decided to not filibuster, in part because Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose wife Elaine Chao is Taiwanese American, signaled openness to working on it with Democrats prior to final passage, the Associated Press reports.

  • “I can tell you, as a proud husband of an Asian American woman, I think this discrimination against Asian Americans is a real problem. And it preceded the murders that were recently on full display, and I’m hoping we can work out an agreement,” McConnell said, according to the Washington Post.

The intrigue: "Both sides cautioned that the tentative framework could still fall apart, but senators signaled a willingness to merge various proposals that could lead to bipartisan passage of a bill by the end of the week," the Post writes.

  • "Such passage would be highly unusual in a chamber that has been dominated in recent months by a presidential impeachment trial and the Democrats’ party-line passage of a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill."

What's next: Democratic lawmakers said Tuesday they were willing to work with Republicans to strengthen the bill and ensure passage by incorporating the broader bipartisan Blumenthal-Moran "No Hate Act," which would streamline federal responses to all hate crimes, as an amendment.

  • The bill, if signed into law, will improve anti-Asian hate crime tracking, 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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Democrats urge Republicans not to filibuster bills addressing anti-Asian hate

Photo: Zach Gibson via Getty Images

Democratic lawmakers called on their Republican colleagues Tuesday to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which aims to improve hate crime reporting and educate law enforcement on identifying anti-Asian racism.

Why it matters: Democrats will require 60 votes to push the legislation through the Senate, effectively daring Republicans to filibuster a bill for the first time since the new Congress.

Investors fear inflation, labor shortages in second half of 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors entered 2021 concerned about the transition to a new U.S. president, the form of new fiscal stimulus, the distribution of vaccines and the reopening of the economy. Now, top risks include supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, inflation and slower GDP growth.

Why it matters: Stocks have rallied almost unabated for over a year, leaving many to wonder if the market is overdue for a big selloff. Last week's declines amplify those concerns.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump works refs ahead of book barrage

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump has given at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office, with authors lining up at Mar-a-Lago as he labors to shape a coming tsunami of Trump tomes, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump advisers see the coming book glut as proof that interest in "POTUS 45," as they call him, has never been higher. These advisers know that most of the books will paint a mixed picture, at best. But Trump is working the refs with charm, spin and dish.