Singer Alicia Keys has a crush on Speaker Paul Ryan, or at least she's willing to have one if he'll help get a criminal justice reform bill through Congress. The singer released a new video today through her advocacy group We Are Here. She calls on Ryan to bring a criminal justice reform bill up that would roll back mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.
The video is part of a campaign to get people to contact Ryan and urge him to bring the bill to a vote. While Ryan has pledged to bring a number of criminal justice bills that were passed by the Judiciary Committee to the floor for debate, he has not set a timeline, saying that was up to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Some of the bipartisan support for eliminating mandatory minimums, however, has eroded as the Republican presidential contest took a hard swerve toward "tough on crime" rhetoric. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who glommed on to the libertarian streak in the Republican party to build his profile since joining the Senate, has now turned on the effort against mandatory minimum sentencing, saying it could put "dangerous felons" on the streets. Cruz's flip-flop is part of a broader trend of some Republicans looking to scuttle the last chance for the Obama administration—a late-comer to the cause of (limited) criminal justice reform—to secure a legislative accomplishment.
Watch the video below: