The long-stalled bill to overhaul federal prisons and sentencing passed 87-12 late Tuesday night. “(It’s) large but modest, and filled with numerous exceptions to gain the backing of law enforcement organizations, whose support was critical in gaining Trump’s endorsement,” said one commentator.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is seeking changes that weren’t included in the latest version of the bill. Opponents will try to exclude some inmates from qualifying for reduced sentences. Democrats may abandon the bill if that amendment prevails.
Former FBI Director James Comey asked a judge to reject a subpoena he received from House Republicans for closed-door testimony, arguing that leaks would harm both his credibility and the public perception of investigations by the Justice Department.
U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), who heads the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Justice Department’s budget, was defeated for re-election Tuesday. Culberson would have left the chairmanship in any case because the Democrats took control of the House. He may be succeeded by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY).
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally of Tucson will face Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix in the race to replace retiring Jeff Flake. All three Republican candidates ran to the right on border security and issues involving illegal immigration. Arizona has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988.