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 DurbinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Durbin: Trump pressuring acting AG in Cohen probe is 'no surprise' MORE (D-Ill.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Drug pricing fight centers on insulin 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.
 
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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 CornynInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate 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 LeeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency Congress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support 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.”