- 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.