The House voted364 to 62 on Tuesday to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and send it to President Biden's desk, who has said he will sign the measure into law.
Why it matters: Introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the bill is Congress' first substantial effort to address the rise of anti-Asian hate this past year, which has included stabbings, sexual assault and elder abuse.
- The Senate cleared the legislation — which would train law enforcement to better identify anti-Asian racism, among other measures — with a rare bipartisan vote last month.
The intrigue: Over 75 Asian and LGBTQ organizations urged Congress to oppose the legislation last week, arguing it would only bolster policing and disproportionately hurt marginalized communities.
- Lawmakers have maintained the bill improves hate crime tracking and not policing.
The big picture: In America's largest cities, anti-Asian hate has jumped 164% compared with this time last year, according to data from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
- 24% of white Americans, however, don’t believe anti-Asian racism is a problem that should be addressed, per recent polling by the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change.