Dec 19 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Senate passage of First Step Act.
The vote was 87-12. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass and then will go to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
“I strongly support the First Step Act and I am disappointed my travels to Afghanistan – where I met with American troops and commanders as well as Afghan leaders – precluded me from returning in time to vote for its passage.
“Passage of the First Step Act is a major accomplishment and long overdue. This bill does two important things: lowers the recidivism rate and reduces sentences for nonviolent offenders which allows us to direct resources towards truly dangerous criminals.
“For a nonviolent offender to be released early, the offender has to acquire a necessary skill-set to be more productive once released. The bill also gives more latitude to judges to make sure lengthy sentences are not mandated for multiple nonviolent offenses. This has produced a great burden on the system and has taken a lot of people out of the workforce that could be productive.
“Finally, I very much appreciate Jared Kushner’s tenacity when it comes to making sure the criminal justice reform legislation becomes law. I also appreciate President Trump’s bold and energetic leadership on this issue. It was also an honor working side by side with Senator Tim Scott on another important reform. In addition, I appreciate the leadership of Chairman Grassley and others who made this historic legislation possible. I was glad to play a part in its creation.”