The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly approved hate-crimes legislation for the goal of reducing violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Moreover, these hate crimes have been motivating, in part, by the spa shootings that killed six women of Asian backgrounds.
U.S. Senate Bipartisan Negotiations – COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
This legislation on Thursday’s vote was the result of bipartisan negotiations. On Wednesday night, it produced a deal. This would ensure the bill would have broad support. Moreover, titled the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, is legislation that was the first big huge hit of this congressional session. This is whether a priority of the new Democratic majority would be stifling (fighting words?!) by the 60-vote threshold to pass bills in the Senate.
Moreover, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, who is a Republican, cast the sole dissenting vote. However, the legislation was approving 94-1. Next, it goes to the House. Therefore, this is where the Democratic majority is expecting to effortlessly pass the legislation. Then, it will be sent to President Joe Biden. However, he has already expressed his support for the measure.
U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock
One of the main champions of the legislation in the days after the deadly mass shooting is U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock. Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; and Paul Andre Michels, 54, were killed at a spa in Cherokee County. Yong Ae Yue, 63; Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; and Hyun Jung Grant, 51 were at two Atlanta spas that were targeting soon after.
Protecting Members of the AAPI Community in Georgia and Nationwide
“An important step forward in the federal government’s efforts to help protect members of the AAPI community at home in Georgia and nationwide is the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Moreover, I’m very proud to have worked with my Senate counterparts to pass this very important bill thus ensure that it honors the lives lost in the horrific March 16th shooting in Atlanta. This, in fact, has spurred this critical and urgent call to action in fact,” Warnock said after the vote. “We have threatened the safety of countless Georgians and Americans when we don’t stand up against anti-Asian hate.”