Congress OKs bill to fight hate crimes vs. Asian Americans

Congress approved legislation Tuesday intended to curtail a striking rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, sending President Biden a bipartisan denunciation of the spate of brutal attacks that have proliferated during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill, which the House passed on a 364-62 vote, will expedite the review of hate crimes at the Justice Department and make grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification and reporting of incidents driven by bias, which often go underreported.

It previously passed the Senate 94-1 in April after lawmakers reached a compromise. Biden has said he will sign it.

“Asian Americans have been screaming out for help, and the House and Senate and President Biden have clearly heard our pleas,” said Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., who helped lead efforts to pass the bill in the House.

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