McConnell sets Monday test vote on criminal justice bill
© Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE (R-Ky.) is teeing up a first vote on a White House-backed criminal justice bill for early next week. 

McConnell, wrapping up the Senate's work for the week, scheduled a procedural vote for 5:30 p.m. on Monday. 
 
It will mark a crucial test of the bill's backing, where supporters will need to put up 60 votes to advance the bill. If they're successful, a final vote is expected to take place as late as Wednesday. 
 
Supporters say they have at least 70 votes for the measure, though official cosponsors are at 35, according to Congress.gov
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The bill merges a House-passed prison reform measure with a handful of reforms to sentencing laws. Supporters rolled out a new version of the bill this week with changes aimed winning over more Republican support. The changes include adding additional crimes to a list of offenses that exclude an individual from the bill's earned time credits, which can shave time off a sentence.
 
Though the bill has broad support among both parties, it's run into vocal opposition from conservative senators who worry that it will allow repeat felons out of jail. 
 
"I asked to have a hearing, I was told no, no hearing. I think that's a mistake, but the majority rules," Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) told reporters, adding that he had a hold on the bill that would force leadership to file cloture on the legislation. 
 
Kennedy and Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant Cotton2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Meadows, Cotton introduce bill to prevent district judges from blocking federal policy changes MORE (R-Ark.) are expected to get votes on changes they want to the bill next week, if the legislation is able to get over Monday's hurdle. The amendments will only need a simple majority, meaning some Republicans will have to vote against them to keep the provisions from being added to the legislation. 
 
"We’ve got to talk about how we’re going to respond to it. Whether we just vote it down or have a [competing] side-by-side," said Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinKavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Pressley on Kavanaugh impeachment: 'Deeply disturbing' that a justice 'could have this many allegations' MORE (D-Ill.), asked about Cotton's proposed changes.