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Rep. Jason Lewis (R, MN) Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

House members Jason Lewis (R-MN) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) announced a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill this morning with the goal to decrease "the size and associated costs" of the federal justice system. The bill will: focus on violent and repeat-offenders; decrease the three-strike penalty to 25 years instead of life for drug trafficking offenses; and make it easier for drug offenders to qualify for less than the mandatory minimum.

Why it matters: The Senate unveiled a couple bipartisan criminal justice reform bills last month, but they have yet to be brought to the floor despite Sen. Mike Lee hoping for a vote by the end of the year. Now, House members are re-upping their legislation, which is almost identical to bills proposed last year. Reform efforts in the House and Senate died last year because of the election and President Trump's tough-on-crime rhetoric.

Other highlights from the bill:

  • Specifies that only leaders and supervisors of drug trafficking organizations should be subject to higher mandatory minimums.
  • Asks the Attorney General to create and publish a full list of all federal offenses with criminal penalties.
  • Calls for processes which would reduce the number of people arrested before their first trial date.
  • Requires the AG as well as the U.S. Sentencing Commission to establish a way to assess the likelihood of inmates toward recidivism.
  • Incentivizes prisons to reduce their number of revocations and to institute programs to fight recidivism.
  • Allows prisons to use funds toward programs to prevent recidivism, as well as addiction treatment and therapy.
  • Creates two additional safety valves, which would make drug offenders without any history of fire-arm related, sex, terrorism or racketeering offenses eligible for less than the mandatory minimum as well as those with a history of mental illness.
  • Makes the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive as well as the SAFE bill retroactive.

Go deeper with the bill summary.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

What overwhelmed hospitals look like

A healthcare professional suits up to enter a COVID-19 patient's room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Ohio. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP

Utah doctors are doing what they say is the equivalent of rationing care. Intensive care beds in Minnesota are nearly full. And the country overall continues to break hospitalization records — all as millions of Americans travel to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Why it matters: America's health care workers are exhausted, and the sickest coronavirus patients aren't receiving the kind of care that could make the difference between living and dying.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Southwest CEO: "You should fly"

The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."

Cárdenas: Democrats need to be more "culturally competent" to win

Photo: Paul Morigi via Getty Images

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who's running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told "Axios on HBO" that the DCCC needs to change "overnight" and his colleagues need to be more "culturally competent" if they want to be successful in the next election.

Why it matters: House Democrats are confronting what went wrong and what their party needs to change after they failed to expand their House majority and President Trump expanded his support among Latino voters.