U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, the central Pennsylvania Republican who objected to the results of the November 2020 election, and who remains a close ally of President Donald Trump, was the only member of the Keystone State’s GOP congressional delegation to vote against a bill addressing the explosion in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.
Perry, whose 10th Congressional District seat sprawls across the Harrisburg metropolitan area, was one of 62 Republicans to cast their ballots against the bill, according to CNN.
President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan measure into law on Thursday, saying that “all of this hate hides in plain sight. Too often it is met with silence — silence by the media, silence by our politics and silence by our history.”
During testimony before a U.S. House committee in March, experts testified that attacks against Asian-Americans have increased by nearly 150 percent over the last year, the New York Times reported. Many of the attacks have targeted women and older people, the newspaper reported.
Perry’s vote earned him a rebuke from a home state lawmaker whose state House seat is within his district. Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, one of two Asian-Americans in the 253-member General Assembly wrote on Twitter that Perry has “has 28,297 Asian-Americans in the district including me.”
Scott Perry was the only U.S House Rep in PA to vote NO to the Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Bill. He won by 25,958 in his last election. He has 28,297 Asian-Americans in the district including me.
— Rep. Patty Kim (@RepPattyKim) May 21, 2021
In a statement released to USA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau, Perry defended the vote, saying “Every American deserves equal justice, and no one deserves any more protection or prosecution than another.
“While I unequivocally condemn hatred of anyone for any reason, we already have laws in America against crimes,” Perry continued. “Crimes are prosecuted here. We don’t need a hyphen in front of every kind of American in order to have justice. Segregation of our society and our laws does nothing but further divide us, and my vote today was a vote against further division.”