UPDATED 6:26 AM PT — Wed. Nov. 21, 2018
A group of prominent GOP leaders are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance a criminal justice reform bill by the end of the year.
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, and Tim Scott made their arguments in a phone call Tuesday. However, McConnell has said there may not be enough time to vote on the bill during the House’s lame-duck session.
The Senate bill would have to go back to the House for approval, and Republicans think Democrats will try to kill the bill when they take power in January.
President Trump has thrown his support behind the bill by saying it’s a necessary first step towards significant reforms.
“It will provide new incentives for low risk inmates to learn the skills they need to find employment, avoid old habits, and follow the law when they are released from prison,” explained the president. “These incentives will encourage them to participate in vocational training, education coursework, and in faith-based programs.”
Meanwhile, some GOP lawmakers are opposing the measure. Senator Tom Cotton believes it would make the laws too lenient on violent sexual offenders.
New acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has also voiced his reservations to the president.