Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, said the Anti-Asian hate bill was not detailed enough, he was the only person to vote against it.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, the lone “no” vote when the United States Senate passed an anti-Asian hate bill Thursday by a 94-1 margin, provided a statement on his vote.

“It’s too broad. As a former prosecutor, my view is it’s dangerous to simply give the federal government open-ended authority to define a whole new class of federal hate-crime incidents,” he said.

Hawley also tweeted about the vote and said his problem with the bill is it turning the federal government into the “speech police.” He said it raises big free speech questions.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, R-New York, said this bill is proof that the Senate can work together to solve important issues.

Push for mass vaccinations

With more than one-third of Missourians having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Hawley is supporting Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas as well as Gov. Mike Parson by pushing for FEMA to provide mass vaccination sites in Kansas City.

“I’d like to see the mass vaccination sites to continue to be set around the state. I think the governor has been doing a good job of that, doing it regionally. I’ve asked the federal government to make sure that happens in urban areas specifically,” Hawley said.

Hawley said for certain communities, traditional tools and delivery mechanisms, such as pharmacies, are harder to reach. He said he hopes FEMA will offer clinics and said there are plenty of vaccines at this point.

“I’d urge all Missourians to get their shot. It’s up to them obviously, and all Missourians will make up their own mind, but what we’ve seen so far is that it is safe and that it certainly is effective,” Hawley said.

Hawley said he encourages the vaccine but does not support any use of a vaccine passport.

“I trust the people of Missouri. I trust the American people,” Hawley said. “I think with the vaccine, you give people all the information, you make it available, you make it easy to get the vaccine and ultimately people are going to make the decision that’s best for them and their family.”

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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