While prison reform is more closely associated with a Democratic Party agenda, President Trump has made clear that his administration does not look at the issue through a partisan lens. In fact, the president even announced Thursday he will overrule attorney general Jeff Session should he attempt to block such reform.
“If [Sessions] doesn’t [support reform], then he gets overruled by me. Because I make the decision, he doesn’t,” Trump said during a phone interview broadcast on “Fox and Friends.”
In particular, Sessions and the president disagree on the necessity for the “First Step Act,” a bill that passed in the House by a 360-59 vote and has yet to be confirmed in the Senate. The bill would ban shackling of pregnant prisoners and would decrease well behaved prisoner’s sentences by 54 days instead of the current 47. The bill would additionally require inmates to live within 500 miles of their families and increase work-training programs for prisoners.
Sessions has argued that the bill would make America less safe, but President Trump and Kushner have made it one of their priorities to pass and enact the legislation.
Democrats ought to be cheering West for pushing the president on the issue and President Trump himself for seeing past the partisan issues with the bill that is already in progress.
However, it is highly doubtful any Democrat will publicly praise either of the two. The aesthetics of giving praise even when deserved is too detrimental for Democrats.