Congressman Panetta Supports House Passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, Bill Advances to President for Signature

May 19, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) voted in support of S. 937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, landmark legislation that strengthens the nation’s defenses against hate crimes committed against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.  This bipartisan bill, which will help combat anti-AAPI discrimination and violence stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, will now go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“By supporting and passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, we in Congress are standing with our AAPI family, friends, and neighbors, who have endured racial slurs, physical intimidation, and even deadly violence as a result of this pandemic,” said Congressman Panetta.  “We acted quickly and boldly in advancing this landmark legislation to the President’s desk to improve support for survivors, expand hate crime reporting, and combat bigotry.  Today’s passage is the first of many steps we in Congress will take to ensure no communities on the Central Coast or across our country are terrorized by racially-motivated violence.”

According to a recent report, there were nearly 3,800 reported cases of anti-Asian discrimination and incidents related to COVID-19 between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will require the Attorney General to issue guidance for state, local, and tribal governments on how to:  

  • Establish online reporting of hate crimes or incidents.
  • Collect disaggregated data.
  • Expand public education campaigns about hate crimes and victims.