Missouri Republican Josh Hawley is under fire after becoming the only member of the Senate to vote against the anti-Asian hate crime bill. The legislation passed on Thursday in a 94-1 vote.

The bill would instruct the Department of Justice to speed up the review of COVID-19 related hate crimes, give state and local law enforcement agencies more resources to track incidents, and more.

However, Hawley’s decision to vote against the legislation, which would aid in preventing hate crimes against Asians, resulted in backlash from the folks on Twitter who criticized the senator for opposing a bill that would protect a group.

“Josh Hawley continues to be a voice of abject racism. The only Senator to vote against an Asian anti-hate bill in the Senate. When will we get to rid of this pathetic excuse for a Senator,” one person wrote.

Another person referenced Congress Matt Gaetz, who is currently under investigation by the Justice Department following sex trafficking allegations.

“Matt Gaetz was the lone vote against the Sex Trafficking Bill because he’s a sex trafficker. Josh Hawley was the only vote against the Asian Hate Crime Bill,” the individual wrote.

In 2017, Gaetz was the only person to vote against the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act that provided the federal government with funds to fight sex trafficking across the country.

Hawley previously told reporters he was hesitant about the bill due to its vague wording.

“I’m just concerned the bill is hugely broad, hugely open-ended. Mandates all this data collection in expansive categories that the federal government will collect and maintain. That concerns me,” he explained.

“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 overbroad,” Hawley added.

Despite his reservations, the legislation has made it through the Senate and must now pass in the House. From there, the bill will be brought to President Biden and signed into law.

Josh Hawley
Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, is pictured. GETTY IMAGES / POOL