Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) met with White House adviser Jared Kushner about criminal justice reform yesterday, the Associated Press reports. The session gave supporters a small sign of encouragement that the issue could be revived under President Trump. The bipartisan effort would revise 1980s and ’90s-era federal “tough on crime” laws by reducing some mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenders and given judges greater discretion in sentencing.
A bill died in the Senate last year over conservative opposition, and its future is unclear Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, was a fierce opponent. Former President Barack Obama was an enthusiastic backer. Supporters were skeptical that Trump would be as well, after he dubbed himself a “law-and-order candidate” and talked about with terrorism in big cities and attacks on police. On whether the bill could be revived, Grassley said, “We’re trying to reach some accommodation, if there needs to be any adjustment to the bill we had last year.”