Hawley votes against anti-Asian hate crime bill
After that vote, Hawley told reporters he was concerned the measure was “hugely open-ended” and that it “mandates all this data collection in expansive categories that the federal government will collect and maintain.”
“It just, you know, the ability and power to define crimes, to define incidents going forward, and collect all that data, it just seemed hugely, hugely over broad,” he said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R‑Mo., said he couldn’t join with the rest of the Senate in approving an Asian hate crimes bill on Thursday because the legislation was too broad and could infringe on free speech.
In a rare move of bipartisanship, the Senate on Thursday approved by a vote of 94–1 a coronavirus hate crimes bill designed to denounce the uptick of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) during the pandemic and give new support to federal and local law enforcement to track and combat such crimes.
In a tweet following his “no” vote, Hawley said the legislation raises “free speech questions.”