Washington — The House will vote on a bill Tuesday to address the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was overwhelmingly approved last month by the Senate by a vote of 94 to 1.
The legislation would direct the Justice Department to expedite the review of hate crime incidents and provide more guidance to state and local entities to make it easier to report hate crimes, as well as expand public education campaigns designed to increase awareness and outreach to victims. The bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and New York Congresswoman Grace Meng, was introduced amid a dramatic rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic. The organization Stop AAPI Hate said last month that it had received a total of 6,603 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 19, 2020, and March 31, 2021.