Watch Live: Biden signs bill to combat anti-Asian hate crimes
Washington — President Biden on Thursday will sign legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support that aims to combat the spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans that proliferated during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure, spearheaded by Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Congresswoman Grace Meng of New York, was approved by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 364 to 62 after passing the Senate 94 to 1 last month.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks
- What: President Biden signs the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and delivers remarks
- When: Thursday, May 20
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- Location: The White House
- Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile or streaming device
Called the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the bill aims to expand the federal government’s efforts to address the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, including by directing the Justice Department to speed up the review of hate-crime incidents and provide more guidance to state and local entities to make it easier to report hate crimes. The legislation also expands public education campaigns to boost awareness and outreach to hate-crime victims.
The measure from Hirono and Meng was a response to the drastic increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the last year that have sent fear rippling throughout the community. Shootings at spas in the Atlanta-area in March that left eight people, including six women of Asian descent dead, further heightened those fears.
The group Stop AAPI Hate reported 6,603 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 2020 and March 2021, with women reporting nearly 65% of the incidents.
Mr. Biden expressed support for the legislation as it worked its way through Congress and called on lawmakers in March to send the bill to his desk.