VoteVets, a progressive political action committee, just gave Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri a blistering new nickname in response to his opposing a piece of legislation against violence on minority groups exacerbated by the pandemic.
The veterans' group—whose mission is to increase Democratic veteran congressional candidates—released a new ad in which they dubbed the Senator "Hate Crime Hawley."
You can watch the ad below.
WARNING: includes violent footage of anti-Asian attacks
On Thursday, Biden signed the pandemic-related Hate Crimes Act into law after the House of Representatives passed the legislation by a 364-62 vote—with all those opposing the bill being Republican members.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Democratic Representative Grace Meng of New York, came as a result of Atlanta's spa shootings that killed eight people—six of whom were Asian women—and left one injured on March 16.
Last month, the bicameral resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 94-1—with Senator Hawley being the lone vote against the bill.
Hawley was notorious for leading the charge to obstruct the certification of the electoral college vote in support of former President Donald Trump's baseless conspiracy theory of a stolen election.
The VoteVets video noted the Senator's first political ad in 2016 was a "xenophobic attack on Asians."
The narrator continued to mention Hawley's role model was Trump, whose hateful rhetoric initiated the "crime wave" of anti-Asian attacks which nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic.
Activists and police have said the rise of attacks against AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) was due to Trump's repeated comments blaming China and dropping phrases like, "Chinese Virus" and "Kung-Flu" to refer to the viral pathogen responsible for the global health crisis.
A study conducted in March 2020 by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 149% in 16 of America's largest cities.
When signing the bill—which marked the first time a large gathering was held without the requirement of masks inside the White House since the Biden Administration took office—our President told gathered lawmakers:
"Silence is complicity and we cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act. That's what you've done. And I can't thank you enough. I'm proud today."
VoteVets.org is a nonprofit organization founded in 2006.
It is comprised mostly of United States Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.
The group is often described as "closely aligned with Congressional Democrats" and endeavors to increase the number of Democratic veterans in Congress.
The spot concluded with the narrator saying, "'Hate Crime Hawley'—it's right on brand."