Rep. Jeffries Gives Bill and Hillary Clinton a Pass on 1994 Crime Bill; Hits Sanders Instead

‘So it boggles my mind that supporters of Bernie Sanders actually are making reference to the 1994 crime bill trying to hang that around Hillary Clinton’s neck when Senator Sanders himself voted for it’

KORNACKI: “You’re mentioning — you’re going into — this is a dicey area because it gets into the whole question of should Hillary Clinton be held responsible for anything that happened in Bill Clinton’s administration. But you’re mentioning the children’s health program that’s a Bill Clinton initiative from his presidency. If you will go into the 1990s and Bill Clinton’s presidency what about the record of the Clinton administration on the criminal justice issues? That was the Clinton administration, they had three strikes and you’re out. They had record incarceration rates. Michelle Alexander wrote about this in 'The Nation' yesterday and said Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the black vote partly on that basis.”
JEFFRIES: “I appreciate you bringing that up, Steve. First of all, with respect to the children’s health insurance program, that was an outgrowth of Hillary Clinton’s effort to bring about universal healthcare, and when the votes didn’t materialize for that she immediately pivoted and helped to create a program that dramatically expanded coverage for uninsured children who were not otherwise eligible for Medicaid. Now, with respect to the 1994 crime bill, what perplexes me about that and its legislation that President Clinton signed into law, Democrats and Republicans supported it in my view in error, but one of those Democrats who supported the 1994 crime bill was in fact then House member Bernie Sanders. When you look at his record actually in defense of that particular vote, he specifically referenced the $13.5 billion in funding that was provided for prison construction. That is what actually accelerated the mass incarceration phenomenon that we are dealing with today. So it boggles my mind that supporters of Bernie Sanders actually are making reference to the 1994 crime bill trying to hang that around Hillary Clinton’s neck when Senator Sanders himself voted for it.”

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