Two leading Asian American elected Congressional reps today called on the GOP to support the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in order to combat anti-Asian hate, reported Wyoming Public Media.
“What can be so controversial about a voluntary reporting by the states of these kinds of crimes? One would hope that there would be universal condemnation… against this kind of targeted hate crime,” said Sen. Hirono in a press conference on Tuesday.
“Combating hate should not be a partisan issue,” Rep. Meng said. “We must all as Democrats and Republicans stand together against this racism and violence and say enough is enough.”
Senator Mazie Hirono and Congresswoman Grace Meng both introduced the bipartisan legislation. The bill comes as a response to address the recent surge in violence against Asian Americans.
Sixty votes are required to advance the bill. The bill has received support from the Democratic party. However, without GOP support, there is a risk of a filibuster. Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they are working on gaining bipartisan report.
On Wednesday, there will be a vote on whether to open the bill. Ten Republicans would need to vote to proceed for a bipartisan amendment to advance the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, according to USA Today.
The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would have the Department of Justice assign a delegate to expedite the review of hate crimes related to COVID-19. The legislation would expand public reporting efforts and provide guidance on how to make reporting hate crimes more accessible at the local and state level. This includes ensuring online reporting processes are available in multiple languages, according to a report by Wyoming Public Media.
“Oftentimes we tell people to just report if something happens to them, but it’s not always so easy to do so. People might not know where the police precinct is [or] people might have language obstacles,” said Representative Meng in a report by Patch.
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