Mike Pence: It’s time “to take a step back” from Trump’s First Step Act amid crime surges

by Julia Johnson

June 26, 2023

Contrasting himself with his ex-running mate, former Vice President Mike Pence is expressing skepticism about the landmark criminal justice reform measure passed during the Trump-Pence administration. The First Step Act enjoyed the support of former President Donald Trump, as well as reality television star Kim Kardashian.

The measure’s journey through the government and signing was heavily publicized by the previous administration, with Trump touting the law as one of his greatest accomplishments. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Pence said, “I think the time has come for us to take a step back from the First Step Act,” citing “the crime wave besetting many of our major cities around the country” in his reasoning. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t support some criminal justice reform measures, however.

“When I was governor of Indiana, we enacted criminal justice reform, but we combined measures to introduce faith-based programs to break the cycle of recidivism with tougher penalties on serious crime,” he explained. “I think Congress would do well — and the next Republican president would do well — to take a step back from the First Step Act, to see how we can toughen penalties on people that are victimizing our families and perpetrating violent crimes while still promoting programs that encourage people to live honest lives going forward,” Pence added.

Trump’s campaign did not provide comment when contacted by the Washington Examiner. …

As Pence explained, “The bottom line is that Joe Biden and the Democratic Left want to defund the police. And as president of the United States, I will always stand, without apology, for the men and women on the thin blue line.”

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