May 21, 2018

Bipartisan prison reform bill to get a vote tomorrow

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) are hopeful that their bipartisan prison reform bill, which would send 4,000 prisoners home, provide hygiene products to all incarcerated women, and has won the support of the "law and order" President, will pass the House tomorrow afternoon.

Where it stands: Jeffries told reporters on Monday afternoon that support for the bill is "trending in our direction from all corners of the House Democratic Caucus" and that significant support for the bill from the Congressional Black Caucus has emerged in the past few days.

Yes, but: Some Democrats will vote no on the principal that the bill does not address federal sentencing guidelines, as well as a much smaller handful of hardline Republicans, according to Collins.

What to watch: The Senate. If the bill makes it there, there will be even greater pressure, led by Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, to include sentencing reform. But adding sentencing reform to the bill would also risk the support of some crucial Republicans, including President Trump.

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Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi on Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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Judge sets "scheduling" conference call ahead of Roger Stone sentencing

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has requested a Feb. 18 "scheduling" conference call in the Roger Stone case, two days before the former Trump associate is set to be sentenced.

Why it matters: Stone's defense team on Friday filed a sealed motion for a new trial — the second time they've done so — amid allegations of juror bias and a growing controversy over Attorney General Bill Barr's intervention in the case.

Biden says Bloomberg's money can't "erase" his record

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Michael Bloomberg's vast fortune cannot "erase" his record, and that scrutiny of Bloomberg's positions on things like race and policing will ramp up now that he's in the national spotlight.

Why it matters: Biden's polling free fall in the wake of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire has coincided with a surge for Bloomberg, who appeals to a similar moderate bloc of the Democratic Party. The billionaire's limitless spending capacity poses an especially stark threat to Biden, who has struggled with fundraising.