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McConnell agrees to vote on Trump-backed criminal justice bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he will bring a bipartisan criminal justice bill up for a vote, marking a significant win for the legislation’s supporters, including President Trump.

“At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that has been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the recently revised criminal justice bill,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

McConnell didn’t specify when the Senate will vote but said he will “turn to” the legislation “as early as the end of this week.” If the Senate is able to pass the measure, AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said the House “will be ready to act” on the revised bill.

Backers and advocates have been publicly and privately lobbying McConnell for months to bring the bill to the floor, arguing that they have at least 70 votes in support of the legislation. The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), merges a House-passed prison reform bill aimed at reducing recidivism with four changes to sentencing laws.

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