Booker hits 'horrible' 90s-era crime bills backed by Biden, Sanders

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity CNN announces details for LGBTQ town hall MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday slammed crime bills signed in the 1990s, touting his own plans for criminal justice reform. 

"I passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill with other senators on both sides of the aisle, the first time since those horrible crime bills back in the 1990s,” Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate, said Wednesday during a CNN town hall. 

Booker appeared to reference the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which was authored by former vice president and possible 2020 Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE. The legislation was also backed by fellow 2020 contender Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.), according to CNN.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bill set strict sentencing standards which, critics have argued, led to an era of mass incarceration.

Biden, who is reportedly close to making a decision on a possible White House bid, has said "I haven't always been right" on the issue of criminal justice.

Booker also said Wednesday that he would "absolutely" support mass pardons for federal marijuana offenses.

“The war on drugs has been a war on people,” he said. “As president of the United States, your job is to pursue justice.”