Criminal justice reform bill hinges on amendments

CongressA criminal justice reform bill cleared a major hurdle Monday when the Senate voted 82-12 to end debate, clearing the way for senators to try to pass the bill as soon as today, The Hill reports. However, its fate rests on several amendments sought by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton. Politico says the changes Cotton is pushing along with Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) could derail the “fragile compromise” with Democrats on the bill. Democratic Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii say Cotton’s amendments undo the bill’s provisions and are designed to kill it. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), a former federal prosecutor, calls the Republican amendments a “poison pill.” President Trump has endorsed the measure, which is designed to reform prisons and sentencing laws.