- The Senate voted Wednesday to move forward a bill that would address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
- In a rare bipartisan showing, almost all senators voted to advance the bill.
- Insider reached out to the six Republican senators who voted to block the legislation.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to advance a bill addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by Democrats Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng of New York, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will require federal officers to “facilitate the expedited review” of hate crimes.
“It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic,” according to the bill’s summary.
In a rare bipartisan effort, a vast majority of senators voted 92-6 to advance the bill – bringing it one step closer to passing.
But the legislation could still face a difficult path forward. Republicans only supported the procedure on the agreement they could add amendments to the bill after it advanced: They added 20.
Hirono told HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic, some of the amendments added, “have absolutely nothing to do with the bill.”
Senate leaders will now have to agree which amendments to consider in order to pass the bill through the Senate, “very, very soon,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech Wednesday.
Here are the six Republicans who voted “no.”
A representative from Cotton’s office told Insider that he voted against the bill because “he’s working on related legislation.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
Representatives from Sen. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri
Representatives from Sen. Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas
Representatives from Sen. Marshall’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Representatives from Sen. Paul’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama
Representatives from Sen. Tuberville’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.