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McConnell To Hold Senate Vote On Criminal Justice Reform Bill

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Under pressure from President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., announced Tuesday the Senate will hold a vote on a criminal justice reform bill before the end of the year.

"At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that have been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the recently revised Criminal Justice bill this month," McConnell said.

McConnell's decision to bring the criminal justice reform bill to the Senate floor comes despite continued opposition from some Republicans.

One of most vocal opponents, Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he was pleased changes were made to the bill to address some issues but claimed the legislation still allows early release for many categories of serious, violent criminals.

"This includes felons who commit violent bank robberies with dangerous weapons, who assault children, and who commit carjacking with the intent to cause death," Cotton said in a statement.

He added, "I look forward to debating this bill on the Senate floor and introducing amendments to address its many remaining threats to public safety."

McConnell reportedly decided to move forward with the bill after receiving several phone calls from Trump and making critical changes to the legislation.

In a post on Twitter last Friday, Trump urged McConnell to call for a vote on the bill, which the president claimed will "help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe."

"Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform," Trump tweeted, "It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it Mitch!"

The legislation would purportedly overhaul the nation's prison and sentencing laws, including reducing mandatory minimum sentences for certain criminals.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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