Dem says marijuana banking bill will get House vote this spring

Dem says marijuana banking bill will get House vote this spring
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Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners MORE (D-Ore.) said Friday that the House will vote later this spring on legislation allowing banks to work with marijuana businesses in certain states.

Blumenauer, who has long pushed cannabis legislation in Congress, said he has been in touch with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Mnuchin reach 'near-final agreement' on budget, debt ceiling Wendy Davis launches bid for Congress in Texas Steyer calls on Pelosi to cancel 'six-week vacation' for Congress MORE (D-Calif.) on timing for the bill, which was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in a 45-15 vote last month.

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“Nancy Pelosi has always been supportive of cannabis reform,” he told reporters on a call. “There’s no doubt in my mind what is coming out of the Financial Services Committee will be given the opportunity to proceed to the floor in regular order.” 

When asked about timing for the bill, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill noted the strong bipartisan vote in committee and that conversations would continue as the panel's work wraps up.

The bill is expected to pass the House if it receives a vote, but it faces less-than-certain prospects in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Blumenauer acknowledged on Friday that bipartisan support for the bill in the Senate is “not quite as robust as the situation in the House.”

“The situation in the Senate is more fluid. I’m not quite as optimistic but I’m not pessimistic about movement in the Senate,” he said. “We find more people who are outspoken in support of it.”

He noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony Election security to take back seat at Mueller hearing McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE (R-Ky.) played a key role in legislation of hemp. He also spoke about another prominent Republican in the cannabis community: former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner won't say whether he'd back Biden over Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Amash's critics miss the fact that partisanship is the enemy of compromise MORE (R-Ohio).

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner won't say whether he'd back Biden over Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Amash's critics miss the fact that partisanship is the enemy of compromise MORE has worked as a marijuana advocate and sits on the board of the cannabis corporation Acreage Holdings, which owns legalized marijuana licenses in several states. He also is honorary chairman of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an organization to lobby for pro-marijuana policy.

The promotion by Blumenauer comes a day before April 20, or 4/20, which refers to the date and time –– 4:20 p.m. –– when cannabis users consume marijuana to celebrate the cannabis culture.

Blumenauer said that when he talked to Boehner about supporting cannabis after leaving Congress, the former Speaker said he had evolved on the issue.

“There are other people who are evolving on the cannabis issue,” Blumenauer said.