Trump pushes sen­tenc­ing bill

The Maui News - - NATION -

WASHINGTON — Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell’s re­luc­tance to hold a vote on a pop­u­lar crim­i­nal jus­tice bill has an­gered top Repub­li­can se­na­tors and cre­ated an un­usual rift with a long­time GOP ally, Sen. Chuck Grass­ley of Iowa. And on Fri­day, it also brought on a tweet from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

“Hope­fully Mitch McCon­nell will ask for a VOTE on Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Re­form,” Trump tweeted. “It is ex­tremely pop­u­lar and has strong bi­par­ti­san sup­port. It will also help a lot of peo­ple, save tax­payer dol­lars, and keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe. Go for it Mitch!”

Grass­ley has spent years work­ing to build a coali­tion around the bill and is push­ing for a year-end vote. Grass­ley says more than two-thirds of the Se­nate sup­ports it. But McCon­nell is re­fus­ing to bring the leg­is­la­tion for­ward in a stand­off that’s di­vid­ing the Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity.

The bill is a project of Trump’s son-in-law, White House ad­viser Jared Kush­ner, and would be the big­gest sen­tenc­ing over­haul in decades. It would re­duce manda­tory prison terms for cer­tain drug crimes and give judges more dis­cre­tion on pun­ish­ments.

The bill has sup­port from sev­eral con­ser­va­tive and lib­eral ad­vo­cacy groups.

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