Sponsor Of Marijuana Banking Bill Makes Final Symbolic Push Before Retiring At Last Committee Hearing!

On Friday, in his final committee meeting before retiring from Congress, the bill’s primary sponsor made a symbolic final push for his measure. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced the text of his Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act as an amendment to large-scale omnibus spending legislation after the Senate repeatedly failed to take up the issue after several House passages.

The representative said that the omission of his Cannabis provisions was one of several “glaring omissions” from the bill, but he ultimately did not push for a vote on the issue because “there is not a lot of latitudes to be making big amendments and sending things back to the Senate” due to the impending storm and the potential government shutdown if the spending bill is not passed soon.

A member of Congress who served on the Rules Committee that readied the Senate’s omnibus legislation for a vote in the House before the Christmas break said, “We passed it to the Senate seven times to watch it go nowhere, under Democrats and Republicans, so the culpability goes across both sides.”

The inclusion of a so-called SAFE Plus package including banking, expungements, and other cannabis regulations was sought by advocates but was ultimately left out of the omnibus law. Despite widespread support for a Marijuana reform agreement among lawmakers, its attachment to broader legislation was blocked by Republican leaders.

According to Perlmutter, the Senate “chess game” decided what was included in the last spending measure of the year. They’ve played the game by postponing it until after the Christmas break, and now you’re forcing it down the throats of House members, he said. “It gives the Senate and our leaders a great deal of authority.”

Perlmutter, who is leaving at the end of this Congress, was applauded by his fellow Rules panel members for their tireless work on cannabis banking. The panel began reviewing the omnibus on Thursday evening and finished on Friday. Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) remarked, “On the SAFE Banking Act, you have so engraved that legislation in our brains that even in your absence we will continue to submit those changes because it’s the proper thing to do.”

To his knowledge, “people can’t use credit cards, since they can’t use checks, people wait in line with tons of cash,” he claimed. There’s a problem with public safety, and it doesn’t make any sense. Why is the federal government taking so long to make the required adjustments so that these enterprises can function like any other business since the states have already done so?

I have faith that we can reach our destination sooner rather than later. McGovern quipped that the panel should pass a “bipartisan resolution calling your chair the SAFE Banking chair so that whoever sits there can know that that’s their job” in order to ensure that future proponents of marijuana legalization would know exactly what they were getting themselves into.

Perlmutter “even finally beat me into submission on SAFE banking,” claimed Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), the Republican Party’s leading member of the Rules Committee. Cole has ultimately supported SAFE banking legislation on multiple occasions.

He said, “Whether I agree with legalization or not, I talk to many law enforcement professionals and people in the financial services industry, and they tell me about the difficulties that this creates and frankly the opportunities for criminals because they know these are cash-heavy enterprises and the difficulties that can be associated with money laundering.”

All of those would drastically improve if your bill were to become law. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Republicans opposed the SAFE Plus deal that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had worked on over the past few weeks.

That McConnell’s opposition made it impossible to include the measure in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this month is also often mentioned as an explanation. Last week, a source in the Senate told us that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was “making a last-ditch attempt” to attach the cannabis banking language to the funding measure, but he was unsuccessful.

The next Congress, he continued, when Republicans take over the House, is when the issue will be addressed. Drug policy reform was a casualty of the negotiations that led to a final agreement because of the political sensitivities surrounding the inclusion of new provisions in the funding bill.

Several reform initiatives that were connected to budget bills adopted by the House and Senate earlier this year were left out of the law, including SAFE Banking and SAFE Plus. Another key setback for proponents is that the law as passed still includes a rider that prevents the District of Columbia from establishing a system of the regulated Cannabis trade. Proponents of the change will start planning for 2023 when it will be possible, if unlikely, that the legislation would pass in a politically fractured Congress.

Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has indicated that he sees cannabis banking as a potential 2023 problem; nevertheless, a staffer said last week that he would still be open to passing it through the spending bill if it includes broader provisions. The incoming head of the House Financial Services Committee, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, recently signaled his agreement that a decision on this matter will have to be made after the lame-duck session.

Sponsor Of Marijuana Banking Bill Makes Final Symbolic Push Before Retiring At Last Committee Hearing!

Although he still opposes SAFE Banking, the congressman didn’t completely close the door on supporting it if his fellow Republicans wanted to see it passed. One thing I will guarantee is a transparent procedure. I shared my thoughts with my team,” he declared. “Members can draw whatever conclusion they like regarding the bill. Indeed, there is a great deal of variation 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 silenced moderate Republicans who may otherwise vote for a bill containing SAFE Banking provisions. The Republican leadership, he said, is “dead set” on some form of marijuana policy. To me, that’s the main roadblock. He also said, “The caucus is certainly divided, but the individuals in power in their caucus are clearly against doing anything on marijuana.

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