McConnell must allow a vote on bipartisan criminal justice reform

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t commit to a floor vote for the First Step Act — even though the bipartisan bill has President Trump’s backing and is sure to pass.

This is nuts. First Step would trim some mandatory sentences for drug-related felonies, make more nonviolent offenders eligible for early release and provide more funding for anti-recidivism programs.It’s a key step forward for sensible criminal-justice reform, and Speaker Paul Ryan has made it clear he’ll hold a House vote if it clears the Senate. Since the House passed an earlier version of the bill months ago, it’s likely to become law … if McConnell cooperates.

And there’s a good chance it won’t pass next year: Voters last month elected a more liberal House, but a more conservative Senate. Finding the same middle ground may well prove impossible, especially as Washington descends into even deeper partisan combat.

McConnell claims he wants to use the available Senate time for must-pass legislation (e.g., to keep the government open) and to confirm judges who would have to be renominated in the new year if they don’t get votes this month.

 Read more at New York Post

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