I am pleased to report that the First Step Act has passed the U.S. Senate. The legislation faced a last minute test from three amendments posed by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Kennedy (R-AL). But ultimately, the Senate voted down each of the proposed amendments on a bipartisan basis. The first amendment was voted down 67-32. The second was disapproved by a vote of 66-33. The final amendment was voted down 62-37.
After resolving the Cotton amendments, the Senate passed an amendment that was proposed by Ted Cruz (R-TX), and then passed the legislation by a vote of 87-12.
First Step Act in the House
The bill will now be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote, which very well may occur this week. If passed by the House this week, the President could sign the measure into law before Christmas.
I will have a detailed analysis of the final measure passed by the Senate most likely by this coming Sunday.