U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez will introduce a bill to spend $50 million more in federal funds to fight hate crimes following a violent white supremacists rally in Virginia this weekend, the Daily News has learned.
The Democrat, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, has authored the “Hate Crimes Victims Assistance Act,” which she plans to introduce when the House is back in session.
“Bigotry and hate have no place in our society, but, sadly, Charlottesville provided a stark reminder that our nation has not yet buried the shameful ghosts of our past,” she said in a statement. “In light of this weekend’s events, Congress must be proactive in addressing the proliferation of hate crimes. This measure would take tangible steps to do so.”
The bill would provide $50 million in federal funds to tackle hate crimes, including $15 million for local law enforcement hate crime training. Another $20 million would fund hate crime hotlines run by state or local governments alongside community groups — which she said will make it easier for people to report they have been victimized and help prosecute offenders.
Another $15 million would go to assist the victims of hate crimes through the Department of Justice, funding programs run by nonprofits or religious organizations that help people who have been the victim of a hate crime.
After President Trump repeatedly blamed violence at the rally in Charlottesville on “both sides” — leading to criticism from other politicians including those in his own party — Velazquez said Congress must step up.
“Donald Trump’s irresponsible campaign rhetoric and, more recently his immoral inability to fully condemn racist marchers in Charlottesville serve to fuel abhorrent actions,” she said. “Where the President fails to show leadership, Congress must step up and tackle these problems head on. This bill will start that process.”