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.
 
 
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.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
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 CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges 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 LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid 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.
 
 
Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, introduced legislation last year with then-fellow GOP Sens. David Perdue (Ga.), Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senator says he suggested Greenland purchase to Trump, met with Danish ambassador It's time to empower military families with education freedom Cotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' MORE (Ark.) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (Utah) that would require the administration to disclose recidivism rates for federal inmates released early because of reduced sentences.

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