Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need For The Senate To Act On The Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Bill This Week

April 19, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to pass the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes bill and confirm critical nominations to the Justice Department and the SEC. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks which can also be viewed here:

The Senate returns this week with a full plate.

Today, we will continue work on two important nominations to the Justice Department: Lisa Monaco and Vanita Gupta. Both should be confirmed by the end of this week. The Senate will also vote to confirm SEC Commissioner Gary Gensler to a full term.

At the same time, the Senate will continue work on the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes bill. Last week, the Senate voted to proceed with the legislation by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, 92-6.

The process will continue to be bipartisan. Senator Collins has worked with Senator Hirono – you, Madam President – on a few modifications, which we have welcomed.

Senators Moran and Blumenthal have worked with Sen. Scott of Florida to incorporate his feedback into their legislation, called the No Hate Act, which would improve and strengthen the bill.

And Senator Warnock has worked with Sens. Hirono and Collins to include language acknowledging the recent tragic shootings near Atlanta.

All of these ideas will be incorporated into a broader final substitute amendment. I will ensure the Senate votes on the substitute amendment in the coming days.

All told, the Senate is on track to finish the bill later this week.

We’re seeing that when the Senate is given the opportunity to work, the Senate can work. Members from both sides of the aisle have worked together over the past week to consider, perfect, and—soon—enact legislation responding to a pressing issue.

Regrettably, very regrettably, in recent years, all of us have witnessed a surge of white nationalism and violent extremism in American society.

Senators of good will from both sides of the aisle have taken note and developed proposals to give federal law enforcement officials the tools to better detect, prevent, and prosecute this surge in hate crimes. The Senate will incorporate many of these ideas in the final substitute amendment to this bill.

As a result, I am optimistic that we can finish our work on the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes bill later this week in the same manner that we started it: with an overwhelming bipartisan vote, and let me say it’s needed.

As I go through New York I have been to several more rallies, one as early as this morning. Anti-Asian hate crimes unfortunately are on the upsurge. We hear about the violent acts. We heard about the deaths. But every day thousands—thousands—of Asian Americans are subject to smaller but nonetheless stinging acts of hate crimes by being called names, by being spat upon, by being cursed at and even just by being stared at in a nasty way, like who the heck are you?

So we must act. We must act both to strengthen the Department of Justice's ability to prosecute hate crimes and to pay attention to hate crimes and to calculate their number—but also to send a message, two messages in fact; one, to our Asian-American friends, a great 6% of America—10% of New York is Asian-American—that you are us. We are all Americans together, and we welcome you being here. I for one, like you, Madam President, would welcome more Asian immigrants coming to America.

But second, a message to those who perpetrate these awful acts: you are not America. We despise what you do and we're going to remain vigilant until this kind of bigotry is diminished and maybe even snuffed out.