Holder's Prison Reform to Save Billions

Holder's Prison Reform to Save Billions

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In a move to save tax dollars and curb the growing problem of massive overcrowding in U.S. prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder today will announce plans to scale back the use of harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes.

Since the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986--which issued minimum sentences for drug possession including marijuana--the federal prison population has grown by 800 percent. The annual cost of incarcerating the more than 200,000 federal inmates is around $80 billion.

Supporters of prison reform say limiting incarcerations for low-level offenders could save billions of tax dollars each year.  -  Read more at The Washington Post

WALL STREET  INDIFFERENT TO DC DYSFUNCTION (BIG MISTAKE, THIS TIME)    Wall Street appears to be waving off the threat of another looming government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle as simply business as usual, an approach similar to what happened in 2011 that could be much more devastating this time around.

“The prevailing view: When Congress returns in September, sabers will be rattled and threats will be hurled. But then, as usual, Washington will grind out a crummy deal that keeps the federal lights on and avoids a disastrous default,” Politico’s Ben White and MJ Lee write. "But this time...could be different...Here is just a sampling of why Wall Street may be wrong: The House GOP is hopelessly fractured on spending strategy. Senate Republicans who might otherwise broker a deal face primary challenges that make compromise potentially deadly. Other Senate Republicans are jockeying for 2016. And Congressional Democrats have no appetite for any bargain - grand or otherwise - that cuts entitlement spending.” -  Read more at Politico

GOOD NEWS FOR DRIVERS- LOWER PRICES AT THE PUMP    Gas prices have fallen in the past two weeks due to oversupply, according to a survey released Sunday by Lundberg, a California-based marketing research company. On Friday, gasoline cost $3.59 per gallon, on average, down from $3.67 at the end of July. “Refiners have done so well in producing so much gasoline that they have actually hurt their own gasoline profit margins,” said Trillby Lundberg, editor of the survey. Prices should continue to fall as the summer driving season comes to a stop. -  Read more at CNBC

SCHUMER SAYS IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL HAPPEN  He made the comment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.  “Republican leadership is talking about some form of path to citizenship. There are businesses, evangelical churches, growers, farmers lobbying their congressmen for immigration reform.  I think we’re going to get a bill and I think Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell know it’s the right thing to do. The Republican Party knows deep in its heart that if they stay anti-immigrant they’re a minority party.”

WH MEETING WITH SENATE GOP GROUP ON BUDGET Hoping to avoid a political disaster on the 2014 budget and debt ceiling, the Obama administration has elicited the help of a group of eight Senate Republicans who are mostly newcomers to the ongoing fiscal fight in Washington.

The Wall Street Journal’s Janet Hook writes, “The group runs the gamut from former presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to a freshman tea-party ally, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), but is notably lacking in top-ranking party officials and budget experts who have been regular fixtures of past fiscal confrontations....The group's importance reflects a White House strategy to look first for Republican allies in the Senate, as with immigration. But it has also emerged because most of the White House's past GOP negotiating partners have taken a step back. These days, the meetings seem to be the only place where the fall's impending fiscal deadlines are even being broached and might be the one place from which a compromise could emerge." -  Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.