U.S. Rep. Chip Roy speaks at the Young Americans for Liberty Convention in Austin.
Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Roy was the sole member of San Antonio's House delegation to vote against the anti-Asian hate crimes bill approved Tuesday on a 364-to-62 margin.
The Tea Party firebrand who represents Austin, the Hill Country and part of the Alamo City spoke against the measure during debate, arguing that Congress "can't legislate away hate," according to an NBC News report
. All the votes against the legislation came from GOP lawmakers.
Roy's "no" vote comes weeks after he came under fire for making a pro-lynching remark
during a March congressional hearing about the rising wave of anti-Asian violence.
"We believe in justice. There are old sayings in Texas about find all the rope in Texas and get a tall oak tree," he said. "We take justice very seriously. And we ought to do that. Round up the bad guys."
The comment drew fire from Asian American members of Congress, one of whom pointed out
that the largest mass lynching in U.S. history was against Chinese immigrants.
Roy refused to apologize, though. Instead, he issued a written statement saying the U.S. should get rid of lawbreakers instead of becoming "an authoritarian state like the Chinese Communists."
The bill approved Tuesday would expedite Justice Department review of COVID-related hate crimes and improve the reporting of such incidents to authorities. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into law.
The proposal passed the Senate last month on a 94-1 vote. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, who's faced blistering criticism for egging on rioters who participated in the January 6 insurrection, cast the sole vote against it.
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