Statement for the Record by Senator Charles Grassley
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Statement on S.937 “COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act”
April 22, 2021
 
Today I express my support for S. 937, as amended by Senators Hirono and Collins.

Every single one of us is horrified to see our fellow Americans attacked because of their race or ethnicity. We are united in our opposition to this despicable violence, and to seeing it investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I have introduced a resolution to this effect, and asked for a hearing to learn more about Attorney General Garland’s review of hate crimes committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
 
It is good to see my Democratic friends acknowledge that bipartisanship is still the way to solve problems in the Senate. We have come together and, with a bipartisan amendment, improved this bill and made it more useful. We have gone beyond merely looking at COVID-related hate crimes to all hate crimes, and we have increased funding for reporting hate crimes.
 
I would be remiss if I did not say that more bipartisanship could have made the bill even better. I think a committee markup would have been useful. I think if Democrats had allowed us to bring a Republican amendment extending the Violence Against Women Act for a vote, that would have been useful. Women are suffering from terrible violence during this pandemic, and this was a missed opportunity.
 
Passing amendments by Senators Kennedy, Cruz, Lee and Blackburn would guarantee even more support for marginalized communities, by ensuring Asian Americans are not discriminated against by institutions of higher learning, and that religious Americans are free to worship in peace during the pandemic.
 

But I hope nonetheless that this is a moment where the Senate speaks together about the importance of fighting hate crimes. We all believe that, even though we have different ideas about the best way to do it. This bill is the product of that collaboration. I will be voting for it and I hope my colleagues will do the same.