“In May, Rep. Abraham, joined 359 other U.S. Representatives, Republicans and Democrats, and voted for the First Step Act, a common sense bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that mirrors Louisiana’s reform effort and is supported by President Trump. Now, Rep. Abraham has flip-flopped and voted against it. Only one thing has changed since Rep. Abraham voted for the First Step Act seven months ago: he decided to run for governor.
It’s clear Rep. Abraham plans to use scare tactics and misinformation to play politics with crime—even though President Trump, the three Republican members of Louisiana’s U.S. House delegation, Sen. Cassidy and law enforcement groups all support criminal justice reform because it makes Louisiana safer and saves money. Rep. Abraham said himself that he couldn’t properly do his job in Washington while campaigning for governor—and this craven flip-flop is one more sign that he was telling the truth,” said Eric Holl, spokesman for Victory 2019, the Democratic Coordinated Campaign.
Here is the statement posted on his Facebook page regarding the criminal reform bill:
"I voted against the criminal rights bill that passed today. The Senate took a reasonable House bill aimed at keeping ex-cons from committing new crimes, and twisted it into a criminal rights bill that dangerously lowers mandatory sentences then allows judges to ignore them, and allows for early releases from custody for child molesters and thousands of violent felons. We’ve seen the negative effects this kind of criminal rights activism is having in Louisiana, and I’d hate to inflict that mistake on communities elsewhere in our country,
As long as Abraham can secure the backing to disseminate information about himself, he presents a serious threat to another four years of Edwards.--John Bel Edwards, Ralph Abraham
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards praised congressional passage of The First Step Act, a bipartisan bill that mirrors many of the reforms made in Louisiana to improve the criminal justice system. The bill overwhelmingly passed each chamber of Congress by a vote of 87-12 in the U.S. Senate and 358-36 in the U.S. House of Representatives. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a separate piece of legislation that was supported by five out of six members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation. The bill will now head to President Donald J. Trump’s desk for his signature.
“Criminal justice reform is a bipartisan issue, evidenced by the coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, as well as conservative and progressive groups, who have come together on this issue. These reforms will reduce recidivism and improve public safety,” said Gov. Edwards. “Just like we did in Louisiana, Congress has worked across the aisle and recognized that what this country is doing, as it relates to criminal incarceration, just hasn't been working. We have been spending too much money on a system that is broken, and our communities have not been any safer for it. Louisiana followed the lead of other southern, conservative states, and I’m proud to see that Congress, as polarizing as it can be sometimes, united to get this done. I am proud to work with President Trump on this issue, and I look forward to partnering with his administration as we continue implementing reforms in Louisiana and as the federal government begins this process.”
In August, Gov. Edwards met with President Trump in Bedminster, along with a bipartisan group of governors, to discuss criminal justice reform on the federal level.