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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said the Senate will take up two bills focused on hate crimes, including one that addresses anti-Asian hate crimes and another focused on the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy.

Why it matters: Following a rapid — and sometimes deadly — rise of attacks on Asians and Pacific Islanders in America, the pressure is on for Congress to enact new protections. Congress is also still dealing with the fallout from the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, which authorities said involved multiple demonstrators from white supremacist organizations.

  • Schumer's backing of the bills comes one day after a mass shooting in Colorado and one week after a series of shootings in Georgia that killed eight people — six of which were Asian women.
  • Officials have said preliminary findings don't indicate the shootings in Georgia were racially motivated. But the attacks have instilled a sense of fear and alarm in Asian and Pacific Islander communities across the country.

Details: One of the bills, sponsored by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), would assign a point person at the Department of Justice "to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes," and would provide support to local and state police agencies to respond to the crimes.

  • The second would authorize new offices within the DOJ, along with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security "to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism."
  • Schumer also reiterated at the start of his floor speech that the Senate would vote on a pair of background check bills passed by the House last week.

What he's saying: "Every one of us has an obligation to speak out against these hate crimes ... One of the best antidotes, when hate occurs, is to answer it forcefully, strongly and repeatedly, so that no one thinks it's acceptable, and those who perpetrate it are shunned," Schumer said on Tuesday.

  • "Here in the Senate, we have more than a responsibility than to just speak out. We must take action," he added.

Go deeper ... DHS chief: Domestic extremism the "single greatest terrorism-related threat" in the U.S.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 9 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.