President Joe Biden (AP-Yonhap)
US President Joe Biden on Thursday reaffirmed his support for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, pledging full government efforts to help such communities.
The renewed pledge came one day after the Senate voted 92-6 to open debate on a bill proposed by the administration to address hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.
"We need to stand with the AAPI community in the whole of government response with what we have to get done," Biden said in a meeting with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus at the White House.
The president said he and his vice president, Kamala Harris, welcomed the overwhelming support for the hate crimes bill.
"Kamala and I are heartened by the Senate's overwhelming bipartisan effort yesterday," he said.
The bill, if legislated, would expedite the federal government's response to hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer has said the bill will likely be put to a final vote next week.
The US has seen a spike in crimes targeting Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year.
Vice President Harris earlier said over 3,800 hate incidents were reported in the United States in 2020 alone.
Thursday's meeting was attended by five members of the House of Representatives, including Judy Chu (D-CA) and Grace Meng (D-NY), and two senators -- Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). (Yonhap)