April 14, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said Tuesday that he plans to bring a bill targeting anti-Asian hate crimes to the floor this week—and urged Republicans not to block it, NBC News reports.
“Combating hate in the Asian American community can and should be bipartisan,” Schumer said at a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Asian American lawmakers.
According to NBC, Schumer noted he needs 60 senators to vote to proceed to the legislation—which means that, even if all 50 Democratic members were to vote in favor of taking up the bill, they would still need support from 10 Republicans.
“I hope it’ll be many more than 60. Who would oppose this very simple, but necessary legislation?” Schumer asked.
The legislation, which Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced in March, would direct the Department of Justice to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes reported to law enforcement agencies and help them establish ways to report such incidents online and perform public outreach.
The bill also would direct the attorney general and the Department of Health and Human Services to issue best-practices guidance on how to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic.
If the bill advances to debate, Schumer said he intends to hold a vote on a bipartisan amendment from Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), stemming from their own anti-hate crime proposal. Their bill would streamline the national reporting systems used by law enforcement agencies and train them in investigating hate crimes. It would also create a hate crimes hotline, establish programs to rehabilitate offenders, and expand assistance and resources for victims.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said a similar measure proposed by Representative Grace Meng (D-New York) will be marked up in committee in the House in the next week and will get passed immediately on the floor.
Research contact: @NBCNews