President Donald Trump on Friday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass a "badly needed" criminal justice reform bill.
But while Trump tweeted that the proposal has "a true shot at major bipartisan support" in the Senate, it's unclear whether the bill will make it to a vote this year.
The bill, known in the House as the "First Step Act," passed the House in May with overwhelming support from lawmakers of both parties, securing 360 votes in favor and just 59 against. Supporters included 134 Democrats. The measure also has backing from the libertarian-leaning Koch political network, which routinely backs Republican candidates and has often pushed back on some of Trump's policies. Getting the First Step Act passed is one of the group's priorities for the remainder of the year.
The legislation, pushed by Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, pares back the major proposal to reduce mandatory minimum sentences that foundered in Congress in 2016.
Trump has strongly endorsed the bill in recent weeks, saying at a Nov. 14 press conference that it "will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time."
"I'll be waiting with my pen," Trump said.