'Tick Tock': Senate Races Clock to Pass Criminal Justice Reform, Border Wall Measure
- Makers have just a few weeks
to pass a major criminaljustice reform bill,
as Abigail Robertson reports,one veteran senator says,
they should clear the schedule
to make sure the bill gets a vote.
- Lawmakers say,
the time is now or never to pass
a criminal justice reformbill that's sitting
in the Senate waiting on a vote.
It's major legislation, withthe goal of trying to make sure
people don't end up back in prison.
Leader McConnell has said,that he does not know
if he will have time tobring it to the floor
by the end of this year.
What is your response to that?
- My response to it is, thathe has a very legitimate reason
that he wants to get judges through.
We can work on judges next year,
because Republicans control the Senate.
Whereas if we don't do thisbill, and Democrats come in
and control the House,we're not going to get
the broad bi-partisan supportthat we have for this.
- [Abigail] The bill hasalready passed the House,
and Grassley believesmore than 75 senators
would vote yes, if it makesit to the Senate floor.
He worries, if it's delayeduntil next year, it's over.
Lawmakers have a lot to dobefore the end of the year,
including paying for border security.
Grassley is confident lawmakers
can avoid a partial government shutdown,
simply because he saysit costs a lot of money
to open and close the government.
- I don't think with the fiscalsituation in our country,
we should do anything as stupid
as shutting down the government.
- [Abigail] A few senators,like James Lankford,
are working to permanently remove
the threat of these shutdowns.
- When you're constantly fighting
about a government shutdown,then you're always distracted
over what the real issues are.
- [Abigail] Lankford introduceda bill that would require
the previous year's funding to kick in,
until Congress passes a budget,and only punishes lawmakers
for missing their deadline.
- Congress has to be able to stay here
and be able to get itswork done, rather than,
it's not done, so we do thesegovernment shutdown fights,
or extensions, and the American people
go through all the turmoil.
Let's put the pressure wherethe pressure needs to be.
- Congress has until December 21st
to fund the rest of the government.
Reporting from Capital Hill,Abigail Robertson, CBN News.