A prison reform bill has strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate, and the support of President Donald Trump, but a few Republicans could be blocking the measure.
“There’s 80 votes for this. It’s the most-important bipartisan piece of legislation in the Congress today,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
A version of the bill, the FIRST STEP Act, passed in May in the U.S. House, 360-59. The Senate version adds sentencing reform to the mix.
A number of Christian groups have backed the legislation, including the National Association of Evangelicals, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Prison Fellowship and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. On Aug. 1, a group of about 20 black pastors met with Trump in the White House to encourage him to back the bill.
Despite the super-majority support in both houses, the bill may not pass this year during Congress’ lame duck session.
The bill’s most outspoken opponent is Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. In a Thursday USA Today op-ed, Cotton accused the legislation of being a “misguided effort to let serious felons out of prison” and of going “soft on some of the worst crimes.”
Citing an unnamed senator quoted in Politico, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd noted Cotton is rumored to have the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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Source: Christian Post