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GOP Senator Warns It's Now or Never for Criminal Justice Reform

GOP Senator Warns It's Now or Never for Criminal Justice Reform Read Transcript


- The fight for criminal justice reform

has been long and hard.

Senator Mike Lee tells CBN News

that in his eight years ofworking on a comprehensive bill,

they've never been closerthan they are right now

to sending a bill to the President's desk.

- If it is brought forward, it will pass.

It'll pass overwhelmingly

with a bipartisan supermajority vote of

at least 65, probably 70, maybe 75 or 80.

- [Abigail] The bill that Lee says

helps prisoners return to society

and addresses excessive sentencesalready passed the House.

It can only pass theSenate if it gets a vote.

Majority Leader MitchMcConnell faces pressure

from the President to bringit to the Senate floor,

but McConnell has madeclear his top priorities

for the end of the yearare funding the government

and passing the Farm Bill.

- We'll be whipping that to see whether,

what the consensus is,if there is a consensus,

in our conference aboutnot on the substance

but the timing of moving forward.

- [Abigail] Lee told CBN News

if it doesn't pass this year, it's over.

- With the incoming DemocraticHouse of Representatives,

they would demand something more exacting

than what could pass in the Senate,

or could likely be signedinto law by President Trump.

So, if we want to getcriminal justice reform done,

not only should we do it

in time for it to be a Christmas gift

to the American people,but we should do it

before the clock runsout on this Congress.

- [Abigail] McConnell also put to rest

any talk of Republicansmaking one more attempt

at repealing Obamacarein the lame-duck session,

telling reporters, "It'snow a bipartisan issue."

For now, he's focused onreaching a spending compromise

on border security thatPresident Trump will sign.

- We're tryin' to get the President

the money he would like for the wall.

- [Abigail] SenateRepublicans and Democrats

agreed on 1.6 billion going

towards border securitybefore Thanksgiving,

but Senator Lindsey Grahamargues that's not nearly enough

now that the caravan isat the Southern border.

- Secure the border is gonna be

a bottom-line for the President.

He's got a $25 billion plan.

I don't think he expects toget $25 billion all at once,

but he does expect to get five billion

like the House authorized

without a bunch of strings attached.

- [Abigail] But MinorityLeader Chuck Schumer

gave no indication he'll budge.

- The $1.6 billion for border security

negotiated by Democrats andRepublicans is our position.

We believe that is the right way to go.

- Lawmakers have until December 7th

to reach a spending agreement

or we could see a partialgovernment shutdown.

Reporting from Capitol Hill,Abigail Robertson, CBN News.

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