Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D. IL):
The Senate has a chance in the lame duck session to push through much-needed criminal justice reform. But we’ll need your help to do it.
The First Step Act has deep bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. It has the support of a wide range of organizations, from faith based groups to law enforcement. And President Trump recently said he supports and would sign the bill.
The only thing standing in the way of the First Step Act becoming law is Mitch McConnell.
The First Step Act is exactly that—the first of many steps we need to take to restore faith in our criminal justice system. The bill has three key components:
- Making drug sentencing fairer by reforming mandatory minimums and removing the disparity in penalties for crack vs. powder cocaine.
- Providing relief for overcrowded prisons by taking real steps to reduce recidivism.
- Redirecting criminal justice funding to addiction treatment.
Momentum for the bill continues to grow and if it comes to the Senate floor for a vote, it will pass. Mitch McConnell’s failure to schedule a vote is the only thing holding us back.