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A bill to fight anti-Asian hate crimes passed in a 94-1 vote in the Senate on Thursday.
The COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act, only needed 60 votes and had large bipartisan support. The legislation was introduced in March by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) with Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York), according to NPR.
“Asian Americans have been beaten, slashed and spat on. Everybody in our country deserves to feel safe and that includes the Asian American community,” Meng tweeted.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo) was the only member to vote against the bill, according to NBC News.
Hawley expressed his “concern” about how the bill was too “open-ended,” reported CNN.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had urged Republican senators not to block the bill, which would establish new ways to report incidents online and conduct public outreach when needed, NextShark previously reported.
The bill will also assist in assigning a designated officer to speed up the review of hate crimes at the Justice Department, especially those reported during the pandemic.
The House, which has created a similar version of Hirono’s bill, and the Senate will have to come to an agreement on a new bill to present to President Joe Biden to sign.
Members of the Senate expressed their support for the passing of the bill on social media:
Feature Images via @maziehirono
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