file photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Washington DC, The US Senate overwhelmingly passed a criminal justice reform bill backed and promoted by President Trump on Tuesday night.The First Step Act passed on a vote of 87 to 12, with dozens of Republicans joining all the Democratic senators in approving the bill.
Congressmen Tom Reed (NY-23) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, released to the following statement:
“The Problem Solvers Caucus was proud to put our full weight behind the FIRST Step Act more than six months ago. This bill betters our communities, improves the lives of thousands and saves taxpayers money. Congress must continue to craft and pass more bipartisan legislation like the FIRST Step Act.”
Trump congratulated the Senate in a tweet soon after it passed , “America is the greatest Country in the world and my job is to fight for ALL citizens, even those who have made mistakes. Congratulations to the Senate on the bi-partisan passing of a historic Criminal Justice Reform Bill,” he tweeted. He went on , “This will keep our communities safer, and provide hope and a second chance, to those who earn it. In addition to everything else, billions of dollars will be saved. I look forward to signing this into law!”
The bill will make sweeping changes to the criminal justice system if signed into law, including making it easier for some prisoners to earn early release to halfway houses and protecting first-time offenders from mandatory minimum sentences.
Jared Kushner said in a USA Today editorial in November , “The administration also worked with Congress to draft the FIRST STEP Act, legislation which seeks to strengthen recidivism reduction and evidence-based reentry programs for inmates in federal prisons. We continue to work with the law enforcement and faith and business communities to find ways to get people leaving prison properly reintegrated into society.”