Mitch McConnell hasn’t officially killed criminal justice reform in the lame duck Congress. But the deed is almost done.
Senate Republicans left Washington on Thursday afternoon without discussing the matter at two party lunches this week, according to two GOP senators, a reflection of both the bill’s fading prospects and the awkward divide it’s fueled within the Republican Party.
McConnell has told Republicans there’s almost no window to take up the bill and debate it on the floor this year, according to multiple GOP sources. And supporters are now making a last-ditch effort to attach it to a year-end spending package, which most senior Republicans say is risky and unlikely to happen.
“Each passing day they get less,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) of the bill’s chances. “We’re still lobbying Sen. McConnell. He has all the power to allow it or not allow it.”