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H.R. 6721 (116th): COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

The text of the bill below is as of May 5, 2020 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.



2d Session

H. R. 6721


May 5, 2020

(for herself, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Lowenthal, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Lee of California, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. Engel, Ms. Velázquez, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Lynch, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Suozzi, Ms. Jackson Lee, and Mr. Cisneros) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To facilitate the expedited review of COVID–19 hate crimes, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act.


Review of COVID–19 hate crimes


In general

Not later than 14 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall designate an officer or employee of the Department of Justice whose sole responsibility during the applicable period shall be to facilitate the expedited review of COVID–19 hate crimes and reports of any such crime to Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies.



On the date that is 30 days after the designation under subsection (a), and every 30 days thereafter, the officer or employee shall submit to Congress a report on the status of each case reviewed under subsection (a), including—


any resources provided to complainants;


any actions taken to further the investigation of the incidents; and


data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, of the victim and location of occurrence.



In this section:


The term applicable period means the period beginning on the date on which the officer or employee is designated under subsection (a), and ending on the date that is one year after the date on which the emergency period described in subparagraph (B) of section 1135(g)(1) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b–5(g)(1)) ends, except that the Attorney General may extend such period as appropriate.


The term COVID–19 hate crime means a crime of violence (as such term is defined under title 18, United States Code) that is motivated by—


the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability of any person; and


the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID–19 of any person because of the characteristic described in subparagraph (A).