U.S. Senate passes anti-Asian hate crimes bill

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation on Thursday aimed at strengthening federal efforts to combat anti-Asian discrimination and violence, which surged during the pandemic.

Lawmakers approved the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in a 94-1 vote. The bill directs the Department of Justice to expedite the review of hate crimes, improve reporting processes for those incidents and allow them to be done online. It also encourages states to create their own hate-crimes hotlines among other items. The bill now goes to the House and appears to be gaining wide support among a typically divided Congress.

WATCH: Lawmakers push hate crime bill in response to anti-Asian incidents

MORE: Hundreds gather for Stop Asian Hate rallies

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