A bipartisan victory.
President Donald Trump will sign the First Step Act this morning at 11AM ET. It’s a huge win for criminal justice reform that has enormous bipartisan support.
AEI summarized the bill:
The revised legislation does just that. The bill maintains House-passed provisions that improve federal prison policy while providing “down-payments” on much needed sentencing reform. In addition to banning the horrific and destructive practice of shackling pregnant inmates during child birth, the bill would give judges greater discretion in the use of mandatory minimum sentences, extend retroactively a 2010 law that eliminated sentencing disparities for cocaine-related drug offenses, and curtail the use of “stacking” by federal prosecutors who add firearms charges even when a weapon was not discharged during a criminal act.
The final House vote follows an intense, yearlong lobbying effort from an unexpected group of allies including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Kim Kardashian, the American Civil Liberties Union, liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans and the Koch network.
“We have an incredible coalition of the unusual suspects,” said New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the lead Democratic sponsor in the House. Jeffries worked for months with Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Kushner and others to keep the bill alive, even as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and some Senate Republicans worked behind the scenes to tank it.
“If you have a situation where Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives, the left and the right, the ACLU and the Koch brothers, Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries… along with Trump are all on the same page, this should happen now,” Jeffries said.
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