Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is highlighting cannabis banking reform is one of several key legislative priorities that he intends to push through using bipartisan cooperation when the Senate reconvenes next month. The Republican sponsor of the cannabis bill, meanwhile, says this is the “best” time to get the job done—but cautioned that passage could be jeopardized if Democrats move to significantly expand the scope of the legislation.
In the first half of this year, the majority leader was focused on getting President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees confirmed and fending off GOP-led regulatory rollback legislation. But in an interview with Politico that was published on Tuesday, Schumer said that he’s preparing for the second act of 2023, which will involve an intensive push to enact bipartisan bills like the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.
The bill from Sens. Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) already received an initial hearing in the Senate Banking Committee last month. And the expectation is that it will be scheduled for a markup soon, possibly as soon as next month when senators return from the Independence Day recess.
Schumer recently spoke with a cannabis industry leader who approached him at an unrelated event this month, and according to that entrepreneur, the Senate leader is feeling “confident” about the prospects of passing the cannabis banking bill. Observers say that the question is whether Democratic lawmakers will seek to expand the measure in a way that makes it unpalatable to their Republican colleagues.
Schumer needs to secure at least nine GOP members for passage in his chamber (assuming there are no Democratic defections)—and certain senators have recently indicated that the votes are there to reach the required 60-vote threshold on the standalone. Daines, the Republican sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act, told Politico that this is the “best opportunity that we’ve had” in the current Congress to pass the bill.
Read more at marijuanamoment.net