In major shift, Mitch McConnell announces the Senate will vote on criminal justice reform bill

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the Senate would take up a long-awaited bipartisan bill that aims to reduce the number of people in the nation's crowded prisons.

"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 revised Criminal Justice Bill this month," the Kentucky Republican said. He added he would turn to it as early as the end of the week. 

An unusual coalition of Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, civil rights groups and the White House have rallied around criminal justice reform pushing for action on the latest effort: a Senate bill called the “First Step Act."

Despite the bipartisan push to act on the criminal justice bill, the effort had seemed to stall in the Senate. Pressure mounted in recent weeks with President Donald Trump urging McConnell to call the bill up for a vote.
 
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