December 03, 2018

Support for First Step Act Keeps Building in Senate

Cassidy, Cardin Join Growing List of Cosponsors

WASHINGTON – Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have joined the growing list of cosponsors of the new First Step Act (S.3649). A crowd of 28 senators, fourteen Republicans and fourteen Democrats, have now sponsored the legislation—endorsed by the President—to reform America’s criminal justice system.
 
“I agree with President Trump. This reform makes society safer. Equipping non-violent and low risk parolees to re-enter society, get a job and stay out of trouble can break the cycle of recidivism and crime. This also saves taxpayers money. Keeping geriatric inmates with Alzheimer’s under guard is a waste of prison beds,” Dr. Cassidy said.
 
“I strongly support the bipartisan First Step Act, which makes long overdue changes to our broken criminal justice system.  It makes key sentencing and prison reform improvements and would create a more reasonable legal system as we strive to provide equal justice under the law to all Americans. Senator McConnell should bring this legislation to the floor without further delay. It is clear that our bill would garner overwhelming bipartisan approval in both the Senate and House,” Sen. Cardin said.
 
Cosponsors of the First Step Act include:
 
1.     Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
2.     Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
3.     Mike Lee (R-Utah)
4.     Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
5.     Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
6.     Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
7.     Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
8.     Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
9.     Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
10.  Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)
11.  Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
12.  Chris Coons (D-Del.)
13.  Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.),
14.  Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.),
15.  Pat Roberts (R-Kan.),
16.  Doug Jones (D-Ala.),
17.  Susan Collins (R-Maine),
18.  Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.),
19.  Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.),
20.  Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.),
21.  Rand Paul (R-Ky.),
22.  Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
23.  Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
24.  Angus King (I-Maine).
25.  Todd Young (R-Ind.)
26.  Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
27.  Bill Cassidy (R-La.)
28.  Ben Cardin (D-Md.)


 
The First Step Act is backed by President Trump and endorsed by a number of law enforcement groups, including the nation’s largest police group.  It’s also now supported by 172 former federal prosecutors including two former Republican U.S. attorneys general, two former deputy attorneys general and a former director of the FBI along with sheriffs from 34 states across the country. The National Governor’s Association, which represents the governors of all 50 states, praised the bill earlier this week. And a broad coalition of conservative, progressive, and faith groups also support the bill.
 
The bill has also been endorsed by the oft-divergent editorial boards of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as by the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle.
 
More information on the legislation can be found here:
·       Bill text
·       Fact sheet
 

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