Mention of our briefing here.
A fireside chat on the Hill puts SAFE Banking in focus.
A fireside chat this week with Rep. Troy Carter, former Sen. Cory Gardner, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer focused on the SAFE Banking Act, how far it’s come, and what’s needed to push it over the finish line to passage.
The tone of the conversation was very light, with plenty of jokes. (“The best thing about being out of Congress is I just don’t care if I wear a tie,” Gardner said to much laughter.) Gardner, you might remember, was a SAFE Banking champion in the Senate before retiring. Gardner said that, with banks, credit unions, and farm groups talking about SAFE Banking, it’s become a “real deal, legitimate issue.”
Blumenauer swung by the chat and said that he’s convinced that the 60 votes needed in the Senate are already there. Carter agreed, saying that if the SAFE Banking Act was put on the Senate floor today, “it would pass.”
Last December, the SAFE Banking Plus legislation, as it become known, was the subject of intense negotiation and teetered at the edge of being included in broader spending and defense bills, but ultimately didn’t.
“We made more progress than we’ve ever made in the last Congress. Close but no cigar. But I’m hopeful that we will be able to pick up where we left off. We’re awaiting, frankly, for the Senate to massage the final version, and that will be the vehicle we’ll use in the House,” Blumenauer said.
“Sometimes Congress approaches things through the lens of ‘how do you solve a small problem by making it bigger.’ And so you add a whole bunch of things in it, and then everybody has something, and then you pass it,” Carter said.
“This is a situation where I think if you put something on the floor that had negotiation and agreement, buy in, like SAFE did at the end of the year, it will pass. And we can keep doing more. But doggone it, it’s the easiest, safest position for Congress to take is to do nothing. So let’s make ’em vote.”