Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding his intent to bring the SAFER Banking Act to the floor for a vote after it was reported out by the Banking committee with a strong bipartisan vote. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, the SAFER Banking Act, I’m happy to say, was reported out of the Banking Committee with a good bipartisan majority of 14 to 9. The next step is to bring SAFER Banking to the floor for a vote, which I will do soon.
I worked long and hard – for years – to get us to this point, and now the Senate is one crucial step closer to helping cannabis businesses operate more efficiently, more safely, and more transparently in the states that allow cannabis to be sold.
I brought together a bipartisan coalition – with Senators Merkley, and Daines, Lummis, Sinema, Reed – and we committed to reaching a deal on the issue. And I’m really proud of the bipartisan deal we produced.
I also want to thank Chairman Brown, Ranking Member Scott for moving SAFER Banking through committee. And again, let me repeat, my other colleagues were heavily involved: Senators Lummis and Sinema and Reed and, of course, Merkley and Daines, the lead sponsors of the SAFER Banking bill.
SAFER Banking’s bipartisan vote in the Banking Committee underscores how much momentum we have right now on cannabis banking, and how important the issue is for so many business owners and communities across the country.
No industry has the ability to thrive if its businesses can’t access basic banking infrastructure – especially not an industry growing as quickly, and one as new, as the cannabis industry.
Congress must always be in the business of promoting entrepreneurs, promoting small businesses, promoting job growth. SAFER Banking will do precisely that in the cannabis industry: connect cannabis businesses to resources like bank accounts and small business loans, creating a safer and more transparent environment in which they can grow. And when I go to the floor, we will add very significant criminal justice provisions to the bill as well. And that is important as well, and I’ll talk more about that at a later time.
So again, thanks to my colleagues on both sides for their cooperation on this legislation. We’ve been working on it for years, now is the time to get it done.