The US Senate passed a bill aimed at tracking anti-Asian hate crimes Thursday by an overwhelming majority of 94-1 — with Sen. Josh Hawley the lone “no” vote.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would direct the Justice Department to expedite its review of anti-Asian racist harassment and attacks — which have spiked nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic — and to coordinate with local law enforcement to bolster reporting of those incidents. The House is expected to vote on the bill next month.
Hawley’s press secretary did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his vote. In a referendum on the bill last week, 92 senators voted for it and six Republicans voted against, Hawley among them.
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who authored and introduced the bill, said in a statement Thursday, “We will send a powerful message of solidarity to the AAPI community that the Senate won’t be a bystander as anti-Asian violence surges in our country.”