The U.S. House has agreed to a bipartisan anti-hate crimes resolution introduced by U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

House Resolution (H. Res.) 257, which Rep. Comstock introduced in April 2017 with cosponsors U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Scott Taylor (R-VA), condemns hate crime and any other form of racism, religious or ethnic bias, discrimination, incitement to violence, or animus targeting a minority in the United States, according to the congressional record.

“Since 2014 there has been an increase in hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, African Americans and other minority or ethnic groups,” the congresswoman said. “I am pleased that the House passed my resolution … to condemn these hateful acts.”

Additionally, H. Res. 257 would require the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to improve hate crime reporting, said Rep. Comstock, and encourages that an inter-agency task force be created between DOJ and the federal departments of Homeland Security, Education, and State, as well as the FBI and the federal Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which she said would all “work together to detect and deter hate crimes.”

H. Res. 257 also would “hold perpetrators accountable, and bring them to justice,” according to the lawmaker.

“As I said when we introduced this legislation, our communities and law enforcement must remain vigilant about those who would perpetrate hate crimes, which divides our communities and strikes fear in any number of ethnic groups or religious minorities,” Rep. Comstock said. “We stand united against such violence and discrimination and encourage law enforcement at all levels to work together to curb these actions.”

The House resolution is companion legislation to Senate Resolution 118, introduced last April by U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The Senate agreed to the resolution by unanimous consent.

 

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