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U.S. Criminal Justice Reform Bill Shows First Demonstration of Bipartisan Potential

Dec. 19, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Senate, Tuesday night, passed, by 87-12, a criminal justice reform bill, ending many of the egregious sentencing guidelines and making other desperately needed reforms (such as the elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing, which removed judges’ discretion in sentencing for certain crimes), in a thoroughly bipartisan manner, with Democrats and Republicans demonstrating that it is both possible and necessary to work together. As President Donald Trump said after the 2016 election, the Democrats can either go after him personally, or work together to pass needed legislation. This bill demonstrated that the latter is possible.

In a press conference today, the leading Senators behind the effort came together, all praising each other for bipartisanship, President Trump for strong support, and especially Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who led the effort on behalf of the White House.

The Senators at the press conference were Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin, (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Tom Scott (R-SC). Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also sponsored the bill but could not attend the press conference. Lee and Booker, at the extreme ends of the so-called right-left divide, had led the fight over the past several years.

As Senator Grassley noted, outside groups also played a key role, “from the ACLU to the American Conservative Union, and everything in between.”

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