President Trump Announces First Step Act – Requests Congressional Support…

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks earlier today in a White House event calling on Congress to take action and support the bipartisan prison reform legislation, the FIRST STEP Act.


[Transcript] Roosevelt Room – 4:38 P.M. EST – THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it. And thank you very much, everybody. I’m grateful to be here today with members of the House and Senate who have poured their time — and they really have — their heart, and energy into the crucial issue of prison reform.

A very respected man — Chairman Chuck Grassley — and my friend. Where’s Chuck? Chuck? Thank you, Chuck, very much. You’ve worked hard on this. And Bob Goodlatte. I saw Bob here. Thank you, Bob. Great job. Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, Tim Scott, Rand Paul, and Doug Collins — fantastic people who’ve worked so hard and we appreciate very much what you’ve done. We really do. Thank you all very much.

Working together with my administration over the last two years, these members have reached a bipartisan agreement. Did I heard the word “bipartisan”? Did I hear — did I hear that word? (Laughter and applause.) That’s a nice word. Bipartisan agreement on prison reform legislation known as the FIRST STEP. And that’s what it is; it’s the first step. But it’s a very big first step.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time. So important.

And I have to tell you, I was called, when I announced and when we all announced together this news conference, by some of the toughest, strongest law enforcement people — including politicians, by the way — who are so in favor of it. And I was actually surprised by some. Like, as an example, Mike Lee — (laughter) — and Rand Paul, and others. No, it’s got tremendous support at every level. It’s really great.

And we’re all better off when former inmates can receive and reenter society as law-abiding, productive citizens. And thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they’ve ever had before. It is true. Our economy is so strong, that when people are getting out of jail, they’re actually able to find jobs.

And I have three instances of companies that hired people coming out of prison, and they are so thrilled by the performance of these people. And now they’re doing it more and more and more. And a lot of people are seeing this. It’s great.

They wouldn’t have had the opportunity, frankly, except for the fact that the economy is so strong. And our job market is the lowest and best it’s been in over 50 years, and seems to be getting even better.

Our pledge to hire American includes those leaving prison and looking for a very fresh start — new job, new life. The legislation I’m supporting today contains many significant reforms, including the following:

First, it will provide new incentives for low-risk inmates to learn the skills they need to find employment, avoid old habits, and follow the law when they are released from prison. These incentives will encourage them to participate in vocational training, educational coursework, and faith-based programs — and I want to thank Paula White, very much, because I know you very much wanted that — thank you, Paula — that reduce their chances of recidivism, and, in other words, reduce their chances of going back to prison substantially.

Second, this legislation will allow federal inmates to be placed closer to their home communities in order to help facilitate family visitation — so important — because we know that maintaining family and community ties is key to successful reentry into our society.

Third, the bill includes reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets. In many respects, we’re getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals — of which, unfortunately, there are many. But we’re treating people differently for different crimes. Some people got caught up in situations that were very bad.

I give an example of Mrs. Alice Johnson, who served 21 years. And she had, I think, another 25 or so to go. So she would have been in there for close to 50 years for something that other people go in and they get slapped on the wrist — which is also wrong, by the way. Which is also wrong. But I’ll never forget the scene of her coming out of prison after 21 years and greeting her family and everybody was crying. Her sons, her grandsons — everybody was crying and hugging and holding each other. It was a beautiful thing to see. It was a very much tough situation.

Among other changes, it rolls back some of the provisions of the Clinton crime law that disproportionately harmed the African American community. And you all saw that and you all know that; everybody in this room knows that. It was very disproportionate and very unfair.

Throughout this process, my administration has worked closely with law enforcement. Their backing has ensured that this legislation remains tough on crime — it’s got to remain very tough on crime — and supports the tremendous work of our police and the tremendous job that law enforcement does throughout our country, our communities. They do an incredible job. We have great respect for law enforcement.

We’re honored that seven of the major police organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Police Chiefs, have fully endorsed this bill.

We could not have gotten here without the support and feedback of law enforcement, and its leaders are here today — two of them — especially Chuck Canterbury of FOP and Chief Paul Cell of IACP. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you very much. I appreciate that very much. And these are two tough cookies. (Laughter.) They want what’s right. They want what’s right.

And interesting — if you look at Texas, if you look at Georgia, if you look at Mississippi and Kentucky and some other states that are known as being very tough — these are big supporters of what we’re doing. And some of it has been modeled after what they’ve done. They’ve done a tremendous job.

My administration will always support the incredible men and women of law enforcement, and we will continue to pursue policies that help the heroes who keep us safe. They are truly heroes.

We also thank the more than 2,000 leaders in the faith community who have signed a letter of support. We have tremendous support within the faith community. Unbelievable support.

Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption. So if something happens and they make a mistake, they get a second chance at life.

Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible. And maybe it’ll be thriving, if we’re going to get something done. When Republicans and Democrats talk, debate, and seek common ground, we can achieve breakthroughs that move our country forward and deliver for our citizens. And that’s what we’re doing today. And I have great respect for the people standing alongside of me.

I urge lawmakers in both the House and Senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk. And I look very much forward to signing it. This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. They’ve been talking about this for many, many years.

I want to thank Jared Kushner for working so hard on the bill. Thank you, Jared. (Applause.) He worked very hard. He really did. He worked very hard. He feels very deeply about it.

And it’s my honor to be involved and it’ll be an even greater honor to sign.

So good luck, Chuck and Mike and Rand and everybody — Lindsey, everybody back here. Go out and see if you can get that done. And if you can, I’m waiting. I’ll be waiting with a pen. And we will have done something — (laughter) — we will have done something that hasn’t been done in many, many years. And it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.

Thank you all very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

END – 4:48 P.M. EST

This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Election 2018, Legislation, media bias, Police action, President Trump, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

302 Responses to President Trump Announces First Step Act – Requests Congressional Support…

  1. paper doll says:

    The thing is, the government wants to stop paying for incarnations and investigations as much as they can, while still collecting the same or higher taxes of course. That’s the reason for the ” reform”. Having said that, it’s crazy to keep locked up nonviolent weed offenders when weed is about to go legal. The means of their criminality will be shortly gone. A lot of these long sentences for weed were handed down back in the day to fill up the private prisons. Those prisoners were real money makers. But as I say, the government no longer wishes to pay off that investment.


  2. Khyberpass says:

    What’s to reform? You do the crime you do the time. What are we supposed to do? Just let criminals off Scott free


  3. Cheeshead54016 says:

    This reform can only help, not hurt. If the stats show it isnt working after 8-10 yrs Im sure changes will be made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TMonroe says:

      Right, just like the changes made in the 70s blamed on institutional racism saw fruit over time in changing that perception, say in cities where the police force, DA’s office and politicians bcame overwhelmingly non-white over time. Oh wait, even today’s WH briefing claims what’s in place currently “created racially discriminatory outcomes”, almost as if that rationale can be trotted out for political leverage regardless of reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Warrior says:

        Let’s hope Criminal Justice Reform is more successful than the Gang of Eight Immigration Reform. Usually “reform” means reducing penalties, shorter sentences, less people in prison. Just like immigration reform meant amnesty, more illegals into the country, path to citizenship for illegals, more hb visas. Yeah, we need more reforms like we need a hole in the head.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 57 Alpha says:

    This is how Trump lost the suburbs. Releasing drug, gun, and child porn felons back early is so stupid that you’d have to be a Democrat–or an ‘intellectual’ to think it would actually have beneficial effects. Federal drug prisoners are serious criminals who in most cases have pleaded down to lesser crimes. These are not simple possession crimes.
    President Trump: this is how you lose your base for 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

    • singularZoe says:

      I agree and think the kind of thinking behind this bill is very naïve and short-sighted. Lawlessness reigns in our society more and more and government is signalling the way. Justice needs to be sure and swift. Defining deviancy down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Warrior says:

        Probably trumps only real flaw is his flawed belief that something needs to be done to help minorities who get themselves sent to prison. There are few innocent people in jail.

        Liked by 1 person

    • amaezed says:

      Going to prison for 50 years for possession of a joint is outdated. No one refutes locking up hardened criminals. This is not what the bill is about. When you’re young and tend to make silly mistakes, you shouldn’t have to serve life for that. You are missing the point .. Cheers 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • cattastrophe says:

      If you’ve read the bill and the things you’ve listed are in I can see why you have disagreement. I haven’t read the bill so I’ll go with what President Trump said when he said real crimes would be punished, which I’m supposing would include serious drug, gun and child porn felons. Just as you supposed he lost the suburbs for this reason (which hadn’t been initiated yet) I’m supposing if he did lose the suburbs it was because they were Democrats who loved HIllary.


  5. Marian says:

    Crime is tax free. You also have the ability to keep your government benefits. Hence prison reform won’t lower crime rates. Maybe some will pick up the trades in jail. Yet why not teach them in the schools before crimes are committed? Oh well…it feels good.


    • TMonroe says:

      What lowers crime rates is not arresting or convicting. as well as plea downs. Oh, and pulling out the get out jail free race card when convenient, as even occurs in the WH briefing, as progress will apparently be measured by the racial numbers going down.But there’s a problem with that:

      “She cites a 1997 study by criminologists Robert Sampson and Janet Lauritsen, who reviewed “massive literature on charging and sentencing” and reached a conclusion that was surely discomfiting to those searching for a biased system. The researchers concluded that “large racial differences in criminal offending,” not racism, explained why more blacks were imprisoned proportionately than whites, and for longer terms. Study after study has confirmed these findings, says Mac Donald, yet “this consensus hasn’t made the slightest dent in the ongoing search for systemic racism.”

      And then you have the likes of Don Lemon and the minders in the media ready to bring race into every story in a certain way before the facts come in, even using the ‘terror’ angle which doesn’t add up the way he used it:

      “These riots are like dominoes: If you remember one, chances you, you remember the rest. In Milwaukee, a black cop shot a black man. Riots. Burning. Destruction. You know the drill: Everyone was having a good time by the light of a burning gas station. In Charlotte, black people terrorized the town after cops shot another black criminal in the commission of yet another crime. They did not like that. Around the country, every day, police are subject to slurs, taunts, threats, violence, and even murder from black people who just are not that into white people. These examples might not meet the standards of Don Lemon’s phony terror test. But the victims have not forgotten the enormous terror in this country. And how it continues today in different forms.

      On Halloween, hundreds of black people rampaged through Hyde Park in Chicago — home to Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, and Louis Farrakhan — destroying property, defying police, setting fires. Watch any of the videos, then try to tell the neighbors they are not being terrorized. But no one was arrested, so it never happened. Except on video. In South Jersey, two white kids were hospitalized with serious head injuries they received after they refused to give their trick or treat candy to the 10-20 black people who demanded it. Think that’s not an act of terror just because the black people did not leave a thank you note? Or a sign that said ‘Vote for Maxine?’ Or a demand for more free stuff? Guess again.

      In Dallas, five cops were killed during a Black Lives Matter parade. Afterward, black people looted a 7-11 then stuck around under the gaze of local police, dancing — yes, dancing — with joy, celebrating the carnage. At their funeral, President Obama figured it all out: the shooting of the five police was all about white racism. “You know it,” he urged the crowd to acknowledge.”

      When the Feds have a legislative proscription to correct the numbers, how does anyone think that will play out? How many weaponized resisters in the judiciary or lawyers on either side of the courtroom are going to go the extra mile for justice and upholding the law and the rights of the victim when PC priorities demanding numerical changes to supposed institutional racism — the kind they learned about in school — are codified even more strongly than now?


  6. Pokey says:

    Trump is just like PT Barnum and, if he is not careful, he will lose his constituency just like America got tired of the Greatest Show on Earth. Letting 3 time losers out of jail because we don’t want the cost of incarcerating them will only help politicians until the people find out the hard way how stupid this really is. The way to save money on prison population is to shorten sentences and make prison be hard time, so that the criminal will want to stay out out of prison in his future. By hard time, I mean forced labor where which the Wardens can’t profit from, less time for weight lifting, needless trips to eye doctors, dentists, dermatologists, chiropractors, and psychiatrists at taxpayer expense. If we provide decent meals and a bed to sleep on, we have done enough for them. In other words, if prison is a very bad deal for a criminal, prison and parole times can be shortened for cost savings. This stupid bill does exactly the opposite and will cause far more problems than it will solve. Next Trump will give us no wall on our border in response to the flood of illegals crossing our border every day. I see Trump tacking to the left to protect his job until he can be re-elected, just like all the politicians he ridiculed on the way to his election.


    • mashall says:

      “On the plane on the way to Texas, Mattis told reporters traveling with him that he believed the mission was “absolutely legal,” “moral and ethical.”

      “Border security is part of national security. Our units are in a position to enable the Border Patrol’s law enforcement operations. We determined that that mission was absolutely legal and this is also reviewed by Department of Justice lawyers,” he told them. “It’s obviously a moral and ethical mission to support our border patrolmen.”
      He said he did not anticipate any troops coming into direct contact with migrants or taking any kind of law enforcement role. The only troops who will be armed will be those protecting other troops, he said.”

      Two points to consider:
      1) DOJ Lawyers determine when the US Military can deter Foreign Invasion?
      2) Mexico is a Failed Narco-State evidenced by the the Cartel Wars Raging on the Border. All DOD personnel should have their TO (Table of Organization) weapon. How is it going to be when some unarmed DOD personnel are harmed?

      “When the Nation and its Citizens are threatened, Legality is of secondary importance”

      How many US Citizens have been murdered by Illegal Invaders?
      I’d say the Nation and its Citizens are under attack.


    • TrumpFanFLA says:

      With two Lefties at Potus’ side (Ivanka & Jared), it’s not surprising. Aggravating (to us), but not surprising.

      If you can stomach it, read Ivanka’s twitter feed from 11/11/18 forward. There are quite a few of her gushing tweets (& her retweets of others, Dems included) all praising this “prison reform” bill:

      (Her Nov. 11th tweets begin on this page):

      Her most recent tweet (as of this writing) is boohooing “Mothers in Prison” & the effect on their kids. So there’s the other half of the reason for the bill (besides male crooks, druggies, pedos, etc., & all the young black “gangsta” thugs, rapists, etc.).

      Sigh. To deter crime, I’d rather see “Joe Arpaio-style Prison Reform” (outside tent-living & hard labor).


  7. sje koken says:

    Just another example of why we don’t need the daily press briefing débâcle. Just get rid of it and have the President or Sarah HS deliver remarks, issue press releases, and do one-on-one interviews. Move the “press corps” across the street and out of the Whitehouse. Save press briefings for periods of national emergency.


  8. The Recent Republican says:

    Good to see that President Kushner is getting his agenda pushed through.

    Meanwhile… (sigh):

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fools Gold says:

    I’m all for giving people a second chance at life and prosperity and if it helps the labor market hire American citizens over illegals then the more the better. I would also imagion the parents of these criminals would be thrilled and come to the realization that their son/daughter was saved by a nationalist president, hence more people voting for nationanlist candidates. However and at the same time, I’m also all for violent and repeat violent offenders going to the hell hole part of the prisons as real punishment and if the hell hole part as I imagine don’t exist it should. Remember, there are plenty of folks serving time in prison who are there for non-violent crimes/behavior. I say give Trump a fair shot in this endeavor and remember he and his involved family will have to live with this decision as part of his legacy and I have no doubt it’s also part of the America First agenda which puts people to work.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This is dumb. It is counter to the Law and Order program he enunciated. He is wasting political capital and time on efforts that only help his enemies. Illegal aliens deported, the wall, law and order crack down. Wtf?

    Liked by 1 person

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