Under pressure from the White House and a number of his fellow Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said today he will bring a major criminal justice bill, the FIRST STEP Act, to the Senate floor for a vote as early as the end of the week.
Tom Cotton, certainly, has been. The Arkansas Republican is the First Step Act’s most vocal opponent in the Senate, and a key reason why McConnell was hesitant to take it up in the first place, fearing it would be too divisive within his party. Cotton opposed similar legislation when a related bill died under the Obama administration in 2016. “If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem,” the 41-year-old said during a speech at the Hudson Institute that year. “You’re releasing thousands of serious, repeat, [and] in some cases violent offenders within weeks or months of this bill being passed,”