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Trump touts criminal justice reform, opportunity zones

Trump signs criminal justice overhaul

During a White House reception for African American History Month Thursday night, President Trump touted the passage of the criminal justice reform bill dubbed the First Step Act and his administration's so-called "opportunity zones" designed to encourage businesses investment in low-income minority communities. 

The president was joined by Vice President Michael Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as several members of his cabinet, including newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr, acting Department of Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. 

Earlier in the day, Pence visited South Carolina with Sen. Tim Scott, the sole African American Republican in the Senate, to meet with local African American leaders and promote the administration's "opportunity zones."  

For the past week, Mr. Trump has been facing heavy criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for issuing a national emergency proclamation to access billions of dollars to fund his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. House Democrats are expected to introduce a resolution Friday designed to terminate the White House's declaration, which is already being challenged in court by a multi-state lawsuit.