In a sign of desired bipartisanship, President Donald J. Trump announced his support for the bipartisan bill H.R. 5682, known as the First Step Act.
The opposition to the First Step Act consists of the resistant conservatives who remain tough on crime. However, the act to scale back mandatory minimum sentences receives praise from both ranking Republicans and Democrats.
With the said, without President Trump’s overwhelming support for the First Step Act is how it made it through the deadlocked Congress. During an event at the White House, POTUS spoke on the measure, “reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets.” He continues with his bipartisan plea, “I’ll be waiting for a pen.”
And, he was.
The day of the announcement, President Trump spoke victoriously, “The announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible. This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. . . . They’ve been talking about this for many, many years.”
Recidivism is high. The bipartisan measure is a perfect example of how a group of Senators comes together to create four provisions to add to the House-passed bill and reduce the high rate of recidivism.
Reducing the sentence for the three strikes’ rule to twenty-five years is a huge step forward. The continued lowering of mandatory minimums for drug felonies is that much more appealing. Most people know someone who unfairly faces sentences that do not match the crime because of drug addiction or poverty.
The Democrats concede, and President Trump was able to place a retroactive clause in the First Step Act.
Crack and powder cocaine sentencing guidelines also change with the retroactive portion.
Another Democrat concession came in the form of gun ownership. The minimum sentence required is now lower if a gun was involved in a drug or violent crime.
Judges now have what is called “safety valves.”
The sentence they pass can be is shorter than the mandatory for lower-level crimes, such as minor drug offenses. The fairness is now there for people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The beginning of the First Step Act was a show of President Trump’s respect for law enforcement agencies. When the House of Representatives initially passed the measure, the POTUS made it clear that he was waiting with pen in hand.
The Fraternal Order of Police has the most members than any large enforcement group in The United States. They made it clear to the president that they support the bill’s objectives and The Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsement a lot to the First Step Act’s success.
The president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police soon took to giving his opinion. Both organizations not only stand by President’ Trump’s stance on the act but also his overall approach to criminal justice reform.
The First Step Act saw bipartisan votes. The Senate ‘s passage of the act was not in any threat of not receiving the passing votes.
President Donald J. Trump’s support is the reason why the First Step Act was able to pass without any hiccups or controversy. Several Republicans required coaxing to come on board: Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Neely Kennedy (R-Louisiana), and James R. Risch.
The former Attorney General Jeff Sessions obstructed the Act’s beginnings. But, after resignation, the measure’s obstacles became less of a deadlock. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions put in his resignation a week before the First Step Act went through Congress’ processes and the POTUS put his signature to make it law.
Advocates for sentencing reform praises President Trump’s strong endorsement while also making it clear he wanted both Republicans and Democrats to come together. And, they have.
Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is the Democrat who put his weight behind the First Step Act. Coaxing Democrat to hold outs came easy when Durbin plainly explained the measure and insured that the President was indeed ready with a pen to sign the act.
The Sentencing Project also continues to express their thinking about the President and recognition of his apparent want for the two parties to work together, especially in unfair sentencing.
The revisions made by the Senate needed House approval. But, the support came through and Washington, D.C. came to a compromise for the overall fabric of American culture.
The First Step Act is already saving family units and non-violent criminals and without President Donald J. Trump was at the helm for it all.