Making Government Work

The One Issue That Can Bring Cory Booker and Rand Paul Together

January 13, 2014
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The One Issue That Can Bring Cory Booker and Rand Paul Together
Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images
Drug law reform has the power to unite ideological opposites.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul are making a surprising alliance to reform federal drug laws. Booker, a Democrat, has lived on food stamps to better empathize with their recipients, while Paul, a Republican, has proposed eliminating the aid program entirely. But the two Senators are in perfect alignment on the issue of mandatory minimum sentencing, under which certain drug convictions carry a set number of years in prison regardless of circumstance.

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Attorney General Eric Holder has already announced  plans to go lighter on drug offenders, but Booker and Paul want to go further, including lightening federal restrictions on hemp and marijuana. We’re not sure what their plans are yet, but with popular support for drug reform soaring, and both Senators building impressive political resumes, theirs is an unlikely fellowship worth watching.

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