President Donald Trump has told Republican senators that he is open to a proposal on prison reform, according to a senior White House official, The Hill reported.
On Wednesday, Republican senators presented Trump a compromise that would combine a prison reform bill the House passed in May with four sentencing reform provisions that have backing from both parties, said a source familiar with the meeting, according to The Hill.
The senior White House official said that Trump was “positively inclined” toward the proposal, and the president told the GOP senators to work with colleagues and also consult with the Senate, “then come back to me with it.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., presented the compromise to Trump, The Hill noted.
“I think we made great progress so it doesn’t have to be broken up. There seems to be an interest on the part of the White House now to keeping the bills together,” Grassley told reporters Thursday, The Hill reported.
Attendees at the meeting said that Trump’s support was a positive step in the reform effort, which would reduce mandatory-minimum prison sentences for nonviolent offenders, the report said.
Also at the meeting was senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House chief of staff John Kelly. Grassley shared praise for Kushner.
“None of this would have happened with Kushner. He is key. I’ve never seen a White House staff person work as hard on an issue as he is on this,” Grassley said, The Hill reported.
Republican negotiators said that Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., seems focused on finding a solution this year, and is negotiating in good faith, The Hill reported.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced the First Step Act, which passed the House in May. “This legislation will help shut the revolving door of recidivism to save taxpayer dollars and reduce crime,” Cornyn said in a press release in May.
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