Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he will be needing bipartisan support when he brings a bill against anti-Asian hate crimes to the senate floor this week.
The bill, which intends to speed up the review conducted by the Department of Justice on reported hate crimes related to COVID-19, was introduced in March by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. The legislation will also aid in establishing new ways to report such incidents online and conduct public outreach as needed, NextShark previously reported.
On Tuesday, Schumer spoke at a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Asian American lawmakers, explaining that fighting hate against the Asian American community “can and should be bipartisan.”
If all the 50 Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill, at least 10 Republican votes are still needed. So far, almost 40 members of the Democratic Caucus and none from the Republican party have co-sponsored the bill.
“I hope it’ll be many more than 60 who would oppose this very simple, but necessary legislation?” said Schumer.
Hirono reiterated the importance of working together to be able to pass the legislation.
“It is now time for Congress to take a stand and pass this legislation against this kind of targeted unprovoked attacks on the AAPIs,” she said.
Should a debate on the bill ensue, Schumer plans to hold a vote on a bipartisan amendment from Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) who have their own anti-hate crime proposal. If Republicans voted against a debate, the bill would mark the new Congress’ first filibuster.
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