April 14, 2021

Grassley on the Rise in Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On the Rise in Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Today I express my concern over the rise in violent crime, in particular hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
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 hateful violence. We are united in seeing it investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I introduced a resolution to this effect, and I will welcome all my Senate colleagues to join it.
I am very happy to see that Attorney General Garland has turned his attention to this problem. On March 30, he directed the Department of Justice to engage in a 30-day review of the Department’s response to hate crimes. I hope the Senate will benefit from the results of that review.
Our responses to the problem of hate crimes must be guided by the facts and a pursuit of sound policy. I am not sure we have done the legwork to arrive at a legislative solution that will make a difference to preventing, deterring, or punishing these crimes. Along with my colleague Senator Cotton, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee of Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism, we are requesting either a full or subcommittee hearing on the issue, after the Attorney General’s review has been completed.
S. 937, the “COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act” was introduced before the Attorney General’s review began and appears to be duplicative or even in conflict with some of the Department of Justice’s existing efforts. That does not seem to me to be the best path. However, I voted to proceed to S. 937. I know that many members of the Republican caucus have amendments that will hopefully improve the bill and make it more useful. We hope these amendments will be listened to and fairly considered by our Democratic colleagues. This is too important of an issue to get it wrong.