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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Executive Committee. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Pew: Over 80% of Asian adults say violence against them is increasing

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

More than 80% of Asian adults say that violence against them is increasing, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The big picture: The survey, conducted April 5-11, comes after the recent shootings in Atlanta in which eight people, including six Asian women were killed, as well as a yearlong spike in hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Bernie Sanders wants to constrain police union negotiating powers

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bernie Sanders told "Axios on HBO" he'd support legislation to prevent police unions from negotiating benefits and disciplinary procedures that shield law enforcement officers from accountability.

Why it matters: Sanders is one of the most vocal supporters of organized labor in Congress. But powerful police unions have been a major obstacle to criminal justice reforms — and the killing of George Floyd has fueled a growing fight within the labor movement over the proper role of police unions.

Bernie Sanders opposes push to reinstate SALT deduction

Senator Bernie Sanders told "Axios on HBO" he opposes the efforts by Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to bring back SALT, the State and Local Tax deduction that benefits wealthier residents of blue states.

Why it matters: There's a dispute among Democrats over whether to use President Biden's infrastructure negotiations to reinstate a popular tax break capped by former President Trump.