Tags: trump | criminal justice | senate

Trump Endorses 'First Step Act' Criminal Justice Reform Measure

President Trump speaking from a podium surrounded by officials
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 November 2018 05:50 PM

President Donald Trump reportedly gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to criminal justice reform legislation that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws — a measure backed by Senate Republicans and Democrats and opposed by conservatives.

Trump praised the “First Step Act” for including “reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets,” and added: “I’ll be waiting with a pen,” The Washington Post reported.

“Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” he said. “This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people . . . they’ve been talking about this for many, many years.” 

The Fraternal Order of Police, the world’s largest group of sworn law enforcement officials, endorsed the latest compromise — giving momentum to the bill, the Post noted. And the billionaire conservative Koch brothers have been ardent supporters of criminal justice reform.

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, has also worked closely on the criminal justice issue for months.

The compromise criminal justice measure adds four provisions to a House-passed bill that focused on reducing prisoner recidivism and did not include the more controversial sentencing changes, the Post reported. 

That measure, co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, passed overwhelmingly in the House in May with a vote of 360-59.

If the bill gets through the Senate, it has to pass the House again since it revises the House version.

According to Reuters, the measure will put Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley in a tough spot.

Grassley has been pushing his own criminal justice reform bill now for years that is more comprehensive than the House version because it would also reduce harsh prison sentences for non-violent offenders.

The bill also has met with some resistance from liberal Democrats in the House including anticipated incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who voted against it because he said it did not go far enough.

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President Donald Trump reportedly gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to criminal justice reform legislation that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws - a measure backed by Senate Republicans and Democrats and opposed by conservatives.Trump praised the "First Step...
trump, criminal justice, senate
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2018-50-14
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 05:50 PM
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