First Step Act

first step actThe Trump Administration reports: “It’s the Right Time to Pass Criminal Justice Reform”

“With President Trump leading the way, the push is on to get serious criminal justice reform done by Christmas. Resisters on the left and right would be fools to stand in the way,” the New York Post editorial board writes.
Earlier this week, President Trump called on Congress to pass the FIRST STEP Act, which would fund educational and vocational training programs in U.S. prisons while easing certain mandatory-minimum sentencing rules. “Trump has it right: “We’re all better off when former inmates can receive [a second chance] and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens,” the Post’s editors write.

Interestingly, when NY Gov. Cuomo proposed to expand a successful educational program for prisoners, he was met with a chorus of outrage. Will Trump’s proposal fly?


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13 Responses to First Step Act

  1. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Are you asking if it will be passed into law by a lame duck Congress?

    For progressives, it doesn’t go far enough.
    For conservatives, it goes too far.
    For moderates, it is a good start.

    In any event, it goes to the Senate for a vote. IF it passes there, it heads back to the House for reconciliation and another vote. IF it passes there, it heads to Trump’s desk.

    All of this takes time. How many legislative days remain for this Congress, anyway? Not a lot.

    What is Reed’s position on the bill?

    I would have to say that the odds are against bill passage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ellen M McLaughlin says:

    This could be another “bait and switch” tactic. I clearly remember when Mr. Trump vowed he wanted DACA saved and would sign any “immigration” legislation that represented a bipartisan effort. Didn’t happen! I also remember how he chided the Congress members on live TV for being “afraid of the NRA and then caved to the NRA less that 24 hours later.

    Moral: Don’t count your orange chickens before they hatch.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. whungerford says:

    Paul Krugman says Republicans seek to counter unpopular policy with deception, distraction, and disenfranchisement. This bill may be an example of deception and distraction. However, Congress can act quickly when they want to–perhaps they feel a pressing need to pass something.


  4. josephurban says:

    In my opinion only violent criminals should be in prison.Non-violent crimes should be punished by fines, house arrest, probation and public service.
    That will not happen since we have allowed the private prison industry to run our prisons. When you have the profit motive you have corruption. Putting some folks in prison is a big money maker for some. Same with the detention of children. Big money maker.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Gee Joe, thanks for your opinion about the prison system. Which represents a fairly large departure from the question “will Trump’s proposal fly?”

    Have you an opinion about that?


  6. josephurban says:

    Arthur. ….. The “First Step Act” is not a Trump proposal. It is a bill that was passed by the House, sponsored by 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Should pass the Senate easily.

    The act is simply common sense, which the Bureau of Prisons could be implementing already. Why they need a law to do so says a lot about our bureaucracy. It simply states that the DOJ must “study” different options for prisoners when they are released. I thought they were doing so already, but evidently they do not. It also includes the idea that female inmates should have access to TAMPONS ! WOW. Now that is an historic development. Also, the bill says they should not tie down pregnant prisoners!!

    The First Step Act has nothing to do with the legal system which puts non-violent, mostly minority lawbreakers in prison at very high rates. It is prison reform for those already in prison and being released. It does nothing to attack the real issues around detention.

    So, yes, I support the bipartisan bill. No big deal. Just common sense. But it is not a “Trump “idea. He just endorsed it a couple days ago. It was submitted back in May.


  7. Arthur Ahrens says:

    It was not my contention that it is “Trump’s bill”. Nor did I state that it was “Trump’s bill in either of my comments.

    I actually cut and pasted “Will Trump’s proposal fly?” from the author’s post into one of my comments. I’m not sure why you are so fixated on it not being Trump’s idea.

    Other than providing your analysis and opinion of the bill’s merits, your comment does not address the author’s question “Will Trump’s proposal fly?”.

    I was specific in my comments about the bill’s chances for success, defined by me as passage into law.

    Could you be equally specific?


  8. josephurban says:

    Arthur. What “Trump proposal” are you referring to? The wall? You just stated that the bill in question was not Trump’s idea, so what Trump proposal are you referring to? Let me know his proposal and I will gladly respond.


  9. whungerford says:

    “Trump proposal” was for the Senate to pass H.R. 5682 before Christmas. Trump has a poor record of predicting what the Senate will do. Majority Leader McConnell says it is “unlikely” to be considered by the Senate. He should know, but didn’t rule out the possibility. What might change to make consideration and passage possible, one might wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Arthur ahrend says:


    Reading is fundamental. Seems there is opportunity for improvement.

    Please read the four paragraphs that lead this article. Please pay particular attention to the last sentence in the fourth paragraph. I eagerly await your response.


  11. Arthur ahrend says:


    Thank you for FINALLY clarifying the phrase “will Trump’s proposal fly?”


  12. josephurban says:

    Arthur wrote:

    Reading is fundamental. Seems there is opportunity for improvement.

    Please read the four paragraphs that lead this article. Please pay particular attention to the last sentence in the fourth paragraph. I eagerly await your response.”

    My response: I see no reason to respond to insulting posts beyond this statement.


  13. whungerford says:

    Trump wants it, Republicans not so much. McConnell says NO.


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