Schumer Criticizes GOP For Marijuana Financial Failure, Says He’ll ‘go Back At It Next Year’!

Schumer Criticizes GOP For Marijuana Financial Failure, Says He'll ‘go Back At It Next Year'!

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blames two prominent Republicans for the failure to include Marijuana banking in the massive spending plan unveiled on Tuesday, but he promised to “go back at it next year.” Supporters of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act had hoped that omnibus appropriations legislation would be used as the vehicle for the change during the lame-duck session, and they questioned the majority leader about this at a Democratic Senate leadership meeting on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA) were held responsible for the failure to include the reform in the funding package, according to Schumer. According to a Senate source from earlier this week, the majority leader was “making a last-ditch attempt” to attach the cannabis banking language to the budget package, but he ultimately failed to do so.

Schumer Criticizes GOP For Marijuana Financial Failure, Says He'll ‘go Back At It Next Year'!

A resolution, he suggested, would have to wait until the next Congress, when Republicans would take over the House. Good support from both parties was present. Schumer remarked that the group had hoped to complete the deal. The senators Toomey and McConnell opposed the bill at the eleventh hour, despite the fact that “I worked for months with other Republicans, led by [Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)].”

It has support from both major political parties. Multiple organizations back the idea. The Majority Leader has stated that they want to resume their efforts the following year. Mitch McConnell welcomed the removal of SAFE Banking from the NDAA bill earlier this month, and he has since made it clear that he will fight against attempts to push the legislation through appropriations as well.

Toomey, meantime, met with the Justice Department this month as part of a small group of senators to get reassurances that the department’s concerns about SAFE Banking, highlighted in an earlier document, had been adequately addressed. Apparently unhappy, the senator did his best to block the provision from the funding bill.

Drug policy reform took a backseat while a final agreement was hammered out because of the sensitivity of talks surrounding adding anything new to the funding package. Not only did the bill fail to include the SAFE Banking language included in budget bills passed by the House and Senate earlier this year, but it also left out a number of other reform initiatives.

Another key defeat for supporters is the final bill’s preservation of a provision that prevents the District of Columbia from establishing a system of the regulated Cannabis trade. There are limited legislative avenues open to proponents of SAFE Banking legislation in the last weeks of the lame duck because no SAFE Banking language has been introduced.

As for activists, they have yet to see the end result of negotiations Schumer is leading to establish a package of gradual reforms to marijuana legislation known as SAFE Plus, which is expected to include banking and expungements provisions. The Republican leader in support of the SAFE Banking Act, Senator Daines, is upset that it was left out of the spending bill.

He issued a statement saying that communities in Montana and around the country would remain susceptible to criminality in areas where lawful businesses were forced to operate in all-cash if his bipartisan “SAFE Banking Act” did not pass. As I argued over a year ago, “had this bill to increase public safety gone through the regular committee procedure, it would have been well positioned to pass. We owe it to our local merchants, police, and citizens to do better.

Most reform supporters, including Schumer, will now turn to 2023 to see whether the legislation can be passed by a more united Congress. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had previously said that he expected cannabis banking to be an issue in 2023. However, a staffer stated last week that Brown might be willing to push the topic through the spending bill if it included larger protections.

The incoming head of the House Financial Services Committee, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, has recently signaled that he, too, thinks the subject needs to be decided after the lame duck. Even while he still opposes SAFE Banking, the congressman didn’t completely close the door on supporting it if his fellow Republicans wanted to do so.

What I’ve promised is an open procedure. I shared my thoughts with my group,” he stated. All Senators and Representatives are free to have their own opinions on the bill. It varies greatly from one state to the next. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has also placed the blame on McConnell, claiming that the minority leader’s outspoken opposition to cannabis reform has discouraged Republican senators who may be open to approving a bill containing SAFE Banking language.

To paraphrase him: “They’re dead bent on anything in marijuana.” This was in reference to the Republican Party. That, in my view, is the main roadblock. Those in authority inside his party’s caucus, he said, are “obviously against doing anything on Marijuana.” At the beginning of the month, Oregon Democrat and SAFE Banking bill backer Sen.

Jeff Merkley vowed to “keep pushing” for legislation to be enacted this year, saying, “this is not the end of the road.” Operating in cash “is an open door to robbery and money laundering,” therefore it’s important that legal cannabis firms have access to the banking services they require, he said. That was also emphasized in a study that analyzed the causes and trends of crimes against cannabis businesses in Washington State.

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