From NBC's Luke Russert
The "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act," that was attached as an amendment to the current Defense Authorization Bill has passed, 281 Yea to 146 Nea.
The act allows for added charges and harsher jail sentences for those convicted of what is deemed to be a hate crime, a crime against somebody's race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
The GOP was vehemently against the hate crimes act, saying that it was improper to be attached to the Defense Authorization Bill. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said the act was, "radical social policy that is being put on the Defense Authorization bill on the backs of our soldiers because they probably can't pass it on its own."
Boehner went on to say, "The idea that we are going to pass a law that is going to add further charges based on what they may have been thinking, I think is wrong."