Chuck Grassley

United States Senator from Iowa





Support for First Step Act Keeps Building in Senate

Dec 03, 2018

WASHINGTON – Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ben Cardin of Maryland have joined the growing list of cosponsors of the new First Step Act (S.3649). A crowd of 28 senators, fourteen Republicans and fourteen Democrats, have now sponsored the legislation—endorsed by the President—to reform America’s criminal justice system.

“I agree with President Trump. This reform makes society safer. Equipping non-violent and low risk parolees to re-enter society, get a job and stay out of trouble can break the cycle of recidivism and crime. This also saves taxpayers money. Keeping geriatric inmates with Alzheimer’s under guard is a waste of prison beds,” Dr. Cassidy said.

“I strongly support the bipartisan First Step Act, which makes long overdue changes to our broken criminal justice system.  It makes key sentencing and prison reform improvements and would create a more reasonable legal system as we strive to provide equal justice under the law to all Americans. Senator McConnell should bring this legislation to the floor without further delay. It is clear that our bill would garner overwhelming bipartisan approval in both the Senate and House,” Sen. Cardin said.

Cosponsors of the First Step Act include:

  1. Chuck Grassley of Iowa
  2. Dick Durbin of Illinois
  3. Mike Lee of Utah
  4. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island
  5. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  6. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  7. Tim Scott of South Carolina
  8. Patrick Leahy of Vermont
  9. Joni Ernst of Iowa
  10. Jerry Moran of Kansas
  11. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  12. Chris Coons of Delaware
  13. Jeff Flake of Arizona
  14. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut
  15. Pat Roberts of Kansas
  16. Doug Jones of Alabama
  17. Susan Collins of Maine
  18. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois
  19. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee  
  20. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  21. Rand Paul of Kentucky
  22. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii
  23. Rob Portman of Ohio
  24. Angus King of Maine
  25. Todd Young of Indiana
  26. Brian Schatz of Hawaii
  27. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
  28. Ben Cardin of Maryland

Here is a full list of cosponsors and endorsements from other organizations.

The First Step Act is backed by President Trump and endorsed by a number of law enforcement groups, including the nation’s largest police group. It’s also now supported by 172 former federal prosecutors including two former Republican U.S. attorneys general, two former deputy attorneys general and a former director of the FBI along with sheriffs from 34 states across the country. The National Governor’s Association, which represents the governors of all 50 states, praised the bill earlier this week. And a broad coalition of conservative, progressive, and faith groups also support the bill.

The bill has also been endorsed by the oft-divergent editorial boards of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as by the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle.

More information on the legislation can be found here: