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President Trump speaks at Police Chiefs Convention. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Legislation designed to reduce federal prison sentences for some non-violent crimes and to help prisoners prepare for freedom is inching its way toward the Senate floor. And it just got a big boost from an unlikely ally: rank-and-file police.

What's happening: The Fraternal Order of Police — the largest law enforcement labor organization in the U.S. — announced Friday its support of a bipartisan Senate criminal justice reform bill, which would lower certain mandatory sentences, incentivize prison rehabilitation programs, provide sanitary products to women and potentially release around 4,000 people.

Why it matters: Part of the challenge for reform advocates like Jared Kushner has been persuading hard-liners such as Sen. Tom Cotton and President Trump that the bill could win the support of law enforcement and wouldn’t undermine public safety, a person familiar with the negotiations tells Axios. FOP's endorsement clears a significant hurdle.

Another advantage: Jeff Sessions was arguably the administration’s single-most effective opponent of this kind of legislation. His departure means reformers have one less barrier.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would have a whip count on the bill after the midterm elections and has indicated he would bring it to the floor if can get more than 60 votes. Republicans close to leadership believe criminal justice reform could pass the Senate during the lame duck, but this is far from certain and hard-liners like Cotton will be difficult if not impossible to win over.

  • Trump has previously expressed openness to the Senate's approach. But he has also expressed concerns the bill could anger his base, as he ran as the tough-on-crime candidate, according to one person familiar with negotiations.
  • Kushner and his allies have been arguing that these prisoners will be released anyway, so they should have the best chance to get jobs and build new lives after their incarceration.

Criminal justice reform is one of only a few policy issues that can win broad bipartisan support. A narrower version of the bill focused on rehabilitation and re-entry programs passed the House 360-59 in May.

  • Since then, four provisions addressing harsh federal sentencing guidelines have been added during Senate negotiations at the insistence of Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Senate Democrats and others — though the final language of this version of the bill has not yet been released. Including those changes makes it less likely some hard-line conservatives will get on board.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.