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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios

"Last night's coalition, I’ve never seen anything like this," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said about last night's landslide vote on the criminal justice reform bill during an event for Axios.

Why it matters: In an era of hyper partisanship, after decades of bipartisan efforts to launch a war on drugs, a bill lowering mandatory minimum sentences and providing avenues for prisoners to reduce their sentences has passed the Senate and will likely become law. "There was just a feeling in the chamber that we’ve had in the past, but haven’t had in a long time," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told Axios' Mike Allen.

Key quotes: "If you believe in human beings, the most beautiful thing possible just happened and I hope people can see that and I hope people can celebrate that," Van Jones, co-founder of Cut50 and a CNN show host told Axios.

  • "I think we are now changing the national conversation when it comes to the issues involving the drug war [and] incarceration," Durbin said. "The conversation is changing."

The Trump effect: "I'm going to piss off my liberal friends, but you know what made a difference? Donald J. Trump finally said enough is enough," Jones said. Durbin also gave credit to Jared Kushner for his passion on the issue.

The future of bipartisanship: "What the best part of the night for me was that it wasn’t Democrats fighting [Sen.] Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) [who was trying to sink the bill] over amendments, it was [Sen.] Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) going up there able to fight them down," Klobuchar said.

  • Durbin said that while the bipartisanship shown on this issue might not be a template for everything, it can be a model for certain issues such as infrastructure.

What's next: Mark Holden, the senior vice president of Koch Industries who has worked on criminal justice reform, said he's hopeful for a "second step act" that would address issues such as bail reform, asset forfeiture, prosecutorial reform and ensuring the right to lawyers. Jones said they hope to soon cut the U.S. prison population in half.

Go deeper

31 mins ago - World

In photos: Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old "lost golden city"

A view on Saturday of the city, dubbed "The Rise of Aten," dating to the reign of Amenhotep III, uncovered near Luxor. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty Images

A top Egyptian archaeologist on Saturday outlined details of a newly rediscovered "lost golden city" near Luxor that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Why it matters: Zahi Hawass told NBC News the large ancient city, unveiled Thursday, tells archaeologists for the first time "about the life of the people during the Golden Age." Johns Hopkins University Egyptology professor Betsy Brian said in a statement it's "the second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamen."

1 dead as severe storms pummel the South

A tree that fell on a home carport damaged a vehicle during a storm in Central, Louisiana. No injuries were reported, according to Central Fire Department. Photo: Central Fire Department/Twitter

Strong storms lashed the South early Saturday, spawning at least one tornado and unleashing powerful winds and hail. And forecasters warned more severe weather was expected to hit parts of the region in the coming hours.

Details: Thousands of customers lost power in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. An F3 tornado that hit St Landry Parish, Louisiana, killed one person and wounded seven others.

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."