The Lead

Pa.’s Rep. Perry only Keystone State Republican to vote against bill protecting Asian-Americans from hate crimes

By: - May 21, 2021 12:06 pm

House Homeland Security Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Scott Perry makes opening remarks during a hearing on “critical canine contributions to the DHS mission’” in Washington, D.C., May 18, 2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett

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.”

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.”

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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