Photo: Giles Clarke / Getty

A bipartisan criminal justice reform bill co-sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin passed through the Judiciary Committee today with a majority of Republicans on the committee voting for it, despite AG Jeff Sessions' opposition to it.

Why it matters: While this is a good sign for criminal justice reform efforts, the bill also passed the committee in 2016 but never got a vote on the floor. The White House has expressed interest in prison reform, which focuses on reentry and reducing recidivism. But this bill also includes more controversial sentencing reforms such as lowering mandatory minimum sentences and eliminating the three-strike penalty.

What to watch: Majority Whip John Cornyn did not support the Grassley-Durbin bill this time around, according to Politico, and has his own criminal justice reform bill that deals only with the prison reform aspects of the Grassley-Durbin bill.

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Ina Fried, author of Login
28 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

Meadows on Wray's voter fraud dismissal: "He has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI"

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows dismissed FBI Director Chris Wray's testimony that the U.S. has never historically seen evidence of widespread voter fraud, including by mail, during an appearance on "CBS This Morning" on Friday.

Why it matters: Meadows' statement highlights the Trump administration's strategy to sow doubt in November's election results by challenging the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, which are expected to skew heavily in Democrats' favor.

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