President Joe Biden signed a bill to tackle hate crimes against Asian Americans after the bill won overwhelming support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Biden signed the bill in the East Room of the White House on Thursday and called hatred and racism “the ugly poison that has long haunted and plagued our nation.”
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Representative Grace Meng of New York introduced the bill, which seeks to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes that have been reported to law enforcement officials. order.
The new law will also help law enforcement by creating avenues to report hate crimes online and educate the public.
In addition, the law directs the Attorney General and the Department of Health and Human Services to establish best practice guidelines on how to mitigate racial discriminatory language related to the COVID pandemic.
Vice President Kamala Harris praised the law in her remarks during Biden’s presentation on Thursday. She highlighted recent incidents of violence against Asians and Asian Americans.
âThis violence – it didn’t come out of nowhere, and none of it is new. In my life, my lived experience, I have seen how hatred can invade our communities,â Harris said.
“I have seen how hate can hinder our progress. And I have seen how people who unite against hate can make our country stronger,” she said.
The bill passed in the Senate last month 94-1, with Republican Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley the only member of the chamber to vote against. Hawley later explained his decision on Twitter.
“My big problem with Sen Hirono’s bill that the Senate voted on today is that it turns the federal government into a speech police; gives the government the power to decide what is considered speech offensive and then monitor him. Raises big questions about free speech, “Hawley said. .
The House passed the bill Tuesday by a vote of 364 to 62. All votes against the measure came from Republicans.
The full list of Republicans who voted against the bill is as follows according to the Clerk of the House of Representatives:
Robert Aderholt (Alabama), Rick Allen (Georgia), Jodey Arrington (Texas), Brian Babin (Texas), Jim Banks (Indiana), Andy Biggs (Arizona), Dan Bishop (North Carolina), Lauren Boebert (Colorado), Mo Brooks (Alabama), Ted Budd (North Carolina).
Tim Burchett (Tennessee), Kat Cammack (Florida), Jerry Carl (Alabama), Madison Cawthorn (North Carolina), Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Georgia), Tom Cole (Oklahoma), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Byron Donalds (Florida), Jeff Duncan (South Carolina).
Virginia Foxx (North Carolina), Matt Gaetz (Florida), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Bob Good (Virginia), Lance Gooden (Texas), Paul Gosar (Arizona), Mark Green (Tennessee), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia) .
Michael Guest (Mississippi), Andy Harris (Maryland), Diana Harshbarger (Tennessee), Kevin Hern (Oklahoma), Yvette Herrell (New Mexico), Jody Hice (Georgia), Clay Higgins (Louisiana), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Mike Johnson (Louisiana), Jim Jordan (Ohio).
Trent Kelly (Mississippi), Doug LaMalfa (California), Barry Loudermilk (Georgia), Nancy Mace (South Carolina), Tracey Mann (Kansas), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), Tom McClintock (California), Mary Miller (Illinois), Alex Mooney (West Virginia).
Barry Moore (Alabama), Ralph Norman (South Carolina), Steven Palazzo (Mississippi), Gary Palmer (Alabama), Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), August Pfluger (Texas), Tom Rice (South Carolina), John Rose (Tennessee) ), Matt Rosendale (Montana).
David Rouzer (North Carolina), Chip Roy (Texas), John Rutherford (Florida), Greg Steube (Florida), Tom Tiffany (Wisconsin), Randy Weber (Texas).
Newsweek asked Senator Josh Hawley and the Republican House leadership for comment.