The U.S. Senate will not vote on a new package of prison and sentencing reform before the midterm elections due to concerns of division among the Republican party.
“I don’t think before the election. I think the sentencing reforms are still controversial and divide Republicans. I just don’t see the wisdom of dividing Republicans on a contentious matter like that before the election,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said, according to Politico.
While the White House has been trying to push prison reform legislation, some members of Congress, such as Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, believe the reform would be too easy on criminals and would put Americans in danger. (RELATED: The White House Is Finally Making Its Prison Reform Push)
“[U]nder no circumstances should Congress cut mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes or give judges more discretion to reduce those sentences. That foolish approach is not criminal-justice reform—it’s a jailbreak that would endanger communities and undercut President Trump’s campaign promise to restore law and order,” Cotton wrote in an Aug. 15 op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
If Republicans want to pass prison reform before the midterm elections, the legislation would have to go the chamber for debate, as the Senate is trying to focus on judicial confirmations and spending bills, while working in August.
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