The Times notes:
Mr. Trump enthusiastically endorsed the proposal this week, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, pledged to move it across the finish line in the House “this term.” But Mr. McConnell’s conclusion could all but foreclose the possibility that Congress will vote on the bill this year.Crony for-profit prison operators are major contributors on Capitol Hill directly and through lobbyists.
Since President Richard Nixon declared the national "War on Drugs" in the 1970s, the American prison population has skyrocketed; the same is true of the numbers of people locked up in private prisons, especially since the 1990s. Over their history, private prisons have been controversial for several reasons, including in some cases their treatment of incarcerated individuals...
In the 2016 election cycle, private prisons gave a record $1.6 million to candidates, parties and outside spending groups. That was nearly triple what they'd given in 2014 and more than double their contributions in the 2012 presidential cycle.So the crony McConnell, by suffocating the bill, is just doing the dirty work he is paid to do.