‘It got a little heated’: GOP infighting almost killed criminal justice reform

<![CDATA[Just hours before the Senate passed major reforms to the criminal justice system, Mike Lee and Tom Cotton were still bickering. At a private party lunch, the two young Republican senators argued one last time: The libertarian-leaning Lee defended a bill the hawkish Cotton had derided as a “jailbreak” for violent felons, while Cotton accused Lee of overseeing a sloppy process that included last-minute revisions to the bill, according to multiple sources familiar with the interaction. “It got a little heated, on his part,” Lee said. Asked to respond, Cotton laughed and replied: “He thought that was heated? He needs to toughen up.” The dispute neatly encapsulated why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was so reluctant to put the bill on the floor in the first place and publicly split his party. But even the skeptical GOP leader could not ultimately stop the bill: President Donald Trump supported it,

Politico News - Congress

ejohnson@politico.com (Eliana Johnson)


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