Darrell C. Scott, a Cleveland-area pastor and member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team, is trying to land a sit-down meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to push him to bring bipartisan prison reform up for a vote. “McConnell needs to get up off his ass and bring the damn thing up for a vote,” Scott told The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon. “[If this doesn’t pass], it will smell really bad. It’ll hint of racism.” The pastor, a close Trump ally who works with the administration on criminal justice and “urban revitalization” issues, said he has “put a call into [McConnell’s] office” and is awaiting a scheduled sit-down.
Scott accused the majority leader of “slow-walking” the effort to “correct” pieces of the controversial 1994 crime bill. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that McConnell had privately “told the president that the bill would most likely eat up about 10 days on the Senate floor—time that he did not have between now and the scheduled end of the legislative session on Dec. 14.” Scott attended the White House event this month where President Trump called on Congress to get the First Step Act—a top policy priority for Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner—to his desk for signing.