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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.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.