Graham urges GOP leadership to bring vote on criminal justice reform

Graham urges GOP leadership to bring vote on criminal justice reform
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform MORE (R-S.C.) said Sunday that there's enough bipartisan support to pass a criminal justice reform bill in the Senate if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellS.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Business groups urge lawmakers to stick with bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) will bring it up for a vote.

Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he's confident a criminal justice reform bill that President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE has backed would receive 80 votes in the Senate, and would be a positive first step for the government in the wake of a contentious midterm election cycle.

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"Let’s start 2019 on a positive note," Graham said. "I’m urging Sen. McConnell to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate. It would get 80 votes. Mr. President, pick up the phone and push the Republican leadership."

"The Republicans are the problem here, not the Democrats," he added.

Trump has voiced support for the legislation, which has been championed by his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerUnsealed documents detail Trump and Biden efforts on reporter records 'Just say we won,' Giuliani told Trump aides on election night: book Rupert Murdoch told Fox News to call Arizona for Biden on election night: book MORE. However, some Republicans have voiced opposition to the bill, and McConnell has reportedly told the president there will not be time to vote on it before the end of the year.

Graham called the bill "the most important bipartisan piece of legislation in the Congress today." 

The legislation would reduce lifetime mandatory minimum sentences after two prior felony drug convictions to at least 25 years; reduce minimum sentences after one prior conviction from 20 to 15 years; and make the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive.