Senators to reintroduce bipartisan criminal justice bill
© Greg Nash
Senators are planning to take a second stab at passing a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill after it stalled amid GOP infighting.
Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump vows tougher borders to fight opioid epidemic Clinton: 'I meant no disrespect' with Trump voter comments Lawmakers rally to defend Mueller after McCabe exit MORE (D-Ill.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica attracts scrutiny | House passes cyber response team bill | What to know about Russian cyberattacks on energy grid Overnight Finance: Congress races to finish .2T funding bill | What to look for in omnibus | AT&T merger trial kicks off | Stocks fall on tech troubles | Trump targets Venezuelan cryptocurrency | Record SEC whistleblower payout MORE (R-Iowa) said Tuesday that they will reintroduce the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, though they didn't specify a timeline for when they could roll out the legislation.
The bill, originally introduced in 2015, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses and armed career criminals while increasing mandatory minimums for other offenses such as domestic violence.
"While the political landscape in Washington has changed, the same problems presented by the current sentencing regime remain," Grassley said in a statement.
Durbin, noting senators have been working on the issue for five years, called it the "best chance in a generation to right the wrongs of a badly broken system."
"We believe this legislation would pass the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote — it’s time to get this done," he said.
The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2015, with Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller Senate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Senate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed MORE (R-Texas), a co-sponsor of the bill, predicting it could get floor time the following year.
But the legislation hit a legislative wall amid pushback from a small yet vocal wing of Senate conservatives. House Republicans also took a different approach, raising questions about if they would be willing to take up the Senate bill.
Grassley and Durbin had both previously expressed interest in reviving the criminal justice bill. They, along with Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Congress moving to end US involvement in Yemen This week: Congress races to prevent third shutdown MORE (R-Utah), reportedly met with President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner earlier this year to discuss the issue.
But the push to pass the criminal justice reform bill could set up a potential fight with the Trump-era Justice Department, after the president ran as a "law and order" candidate.

The four senators also called the criminal justice reform bill “dangerous for America.”