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
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
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.