Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Squashes Democrats’ Efforts to Add SAFE Banking Provisions to Defense Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Squashes Democrats’ Efforts to Add SAFE Banking Provisions to Defense Bill
Cannabtimes

<![CDATA[The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act’s chances of clearing the U.S. Senate are again fading as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urges congressional leaders to remove the cannabis-related language from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).The Kentucky Republican called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to forego the SAFE Banking provisions, which would allow federally regulated financial institutions to work with state-legal cannabis businesses.McConnell dismissed the banking-related language Dec. 6 as reform “in name only,” according to The Hill.“House and Senate Democrats are still obstructing efforts to close out the NDAA by trying to jam in unrelated items with no relationship whatsoever to defense,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday, according to the news outlet. “We’re talking about a grab bag of miscellaneous pet priorities, like making our financial system more sympathetic to illegal drugs or permitting reform in name only that’s already failed to pass the Senate earlier this year.”McConnell suggested that Democrats could have brought the SAFE Banking Act to the Senate floor earlier this year, The Hill reported, and said stripping its provisions from the NDAA will give the defense bill a better chance of passing Congress before the end of the year.“My colleagues across the aisle need to cut their unrelated hostage-taking and put a bipartisan NDAA on the floor,” he said.RELATED: Independent Community Bankers Association, Affiliated State Associations Call on Senate to Pass SAFE Banking ActWhen the NDAA bill text was released later on Tuesday, it did not include any provisions related to federal cannabis policy reform.The news comes as House Democrats have their majority leadership days numbered following November’s election, when Republicans gained nine seats (with one race still pending) to retake control of the chamber in 2023. Under Democratic control for the past…

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