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.
 
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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 CornynConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks GOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 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 LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers 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 CottonSenate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump Hillicon Valley: Doctors press tech to crack down on anti-vax content | Facebook, Instagram suffer widespread outages | Spotify hits Apple with antitrust complaint | FCC rejects calls to delay 5G auction Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (Ark.) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate 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.”