Here’s the release in full from the cannabis scrooge in chief.

As Marijuana Moment succintly put it

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is celebrating that the large-scale coronavirus relief bill Congress passed this week does not contain language to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators.
While some industry stakeholders have maintained that cannabis banking legislation has a good chance of advancing regardless of which party controls the Senate next year, McConnell’s new press release gives another signal he’s hostile to the reform—and it is his position that will ultimately determine whether the bill goes to the floor if Republicans stay in power following next month’s two runoff elections in Georgia.

Final Bipartisan COVID Relief Bill Lines Up Closely With Senate GOP’s July Bill

Democrats Blocked COVID Relief for Months, Holding Out For A Bloated Left-Wing Wish List, Yet Ended Up Embracing A Bill ‘Exactly Within The Ballpark’ Of The Senate Republican Proposal From July

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “As far back as July, and all autumn, Republicans have consistently supported a targeted package right in the ballpark of this total amount, with the same kinds of policies in the mix. The package that will shortly become law falls exactly within the ballpark of what Senate Republicans have been proposing and trying to pass since last summer. Compare the shape of this major agreement with the shape of what I proposed all the way back in late July. Yes, some fine details are different. There is no doubt this new agreement contains input from our Democratic colleagues. It is bipartisan. But these matters could have been settled long ago.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/20/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “Senate Republicans have been trying since July to get more targeted, bipartisan relief into the hands of the American people. In July, we proposed to send about $1 trillion to priorities including a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, direct checks for households, and funding for healthcare providers, testing, and K-12 schools. Democrats said no. They said they’d block anything short of their multi-trillion-dollar left-wing wish list.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 12/21/2020)

 

The Final Bipartisan COVID Relief Agreement Is Remarkably Similar To Republicans’ HEALS Act Proposal From The Summer

 

ITEM

HEROES (May)

HEALS (July)

FINAL AGREEMENT (December)

Topline Cost

$3.4 trillion

$950 billion

$900 billion

Paycheck Protection Program

No second round of loans

Second round of loans, more flexibility on using PPP funding

Second round of loans, more flexibility on using PPP funding

Unemployment Insurance

Additional federal $600 per week

Additional federal $200 per week

Additional federal $300 per week

Direct Payment

Yes

Yes

Yes

Education

$100 billion

$105 billion

$82 billion

Child Care

$7 billion

$15 billion

$10 billion

Vaccine And Treatment

$3.5 billion

$26 billion

$30 billion

Testing

$75 billion

$25 billion

$22 billion

Unconstrained State And Local Bailouts

Nearly $1 trillion

$0

$0

Tax Breaks For Blue State Millionaires

Yes

No

No

Increase Taxes On Businesses

$250 billion

No

No

Checks For People In U.S. Illegally

Yes

No

No

Marijuana Studies

Yes

No

No

Federal Election Takeover

Yes

No

No

 

FLASHBACK: Democrat Leaders Immediately Rejected Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act Proposal

SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Worse still, based on reports and Leader McConnell’s speech just now, the Republican legislative response to COVID-19 is totally inadequate. … The Republican ‘proposal’ will ignore not one or two or three, but scores of major crises in America right now. In addition, based on what the Leader has said, the Republican proposal won’t go nearly far enough … Here’s what we should do: Republicans should scrap their approach…. They should use the Heroes Act, comprehensive, strong, and bold, for negotiations, and start talking with Democrats in a serious way about the real problems our country is facing.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 7/27/2020)

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “It really is pathetic.  It isn’t serious.  Whatever it is, it isn’t serious.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 07/27/2020)

 

Speaker Pelosi Then Spent Months Advocating An All-Or-Nothing Policy: ‘Don’t Be Misled By Thinking, Oh, Well, A Little Bit Is Better Than Nothing. No, It Isn’t’

MSNBC’s ANDREA MITCHELL: “Well, is it better to go forward with some…”
SPEAKER PELOSI: “No, it isn’t. Now, let me — thank you so much for that question, because I hear it a lot. And, clearly, it springs from all the good intentions we all have to help people as soon as we can. … So, don’t be misled by thinking, oh, well, a little bit is better than nothing. No, it isn’t.” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 9/09/2020)

SPEAKER PELOSI: “Don’t be a cheap date.” (“Democrats, Republicans Point Fingers Over Lack of Coronavirus Aid Bill,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2020)
BLOOMBERG’s DAVID WESTIN: “You mentioned negotiating with the Administration.  The Administration has sent signals, they weren’t very subtle, saying they’re interested in something like $1.5 trillion compromise, which would have, as I understand it, $450 a week – not $600, but $450 a week for people for at least eight weeks, and would have $500 billion for the states.  Not the $900 [billion] you asked for, but not the $100 [billion] the Republicans have said. Isn’t something better than nothing?”

SPEAKER PELOSI: “No.” (Bloomberg, 9/18/2020)

SPEAKER PELOSI: “And so, when people say, as some of you do, ‘Isn’t something better than nothing?’ No.” (Bloomberg, 10/01/2020)

SPEAKER PELOSI: “And some of you have asked, isn’t something better than nothing? No.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 10/01/2020)

SPEAKER PELOSI: “But again, we’re not just taking the path of least resistance because everybody says, ‘Just take something, something is better than nothing.’ No…” (MSNBC, 10/02/2020)

PELOSI: ‘I’m So Proud That All Of The Senate Democrats Voted Against’ Targeted Republican Proposals On COVID Relief

SPEAKER PELOSI: “But again, what they – we have a massive problem in our country, we have a massive problem and they put forth not only a skinny bill, as Mr. Schumer says, an emaciated bill. That’s why I’m so proud that all of the Senate Democrats voted against that.” (Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 9/17/2020)

 

From May Through December, Democrats Held Up Bipartisan COVID Relief For Unrelated Partisan Provisions Like Tax Cuts For Wealthy Residents Of Big Spending States, Federal Election Mandates, And Marijuana Studies

Speaker Pelosi’s partisan bill included …

A repeal of the cap on state and local tax deductions for two years …

PAGE 228: “SEC. 20161. ELIMINATION FOR 2020 AND 2021 OF LIMITATION ON DEDUCTION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAXES.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

  • “House Democrats released the text Tuesday for its latest proposed Covid-19 relief measures. … Tucked away in the bill is a measure that will reinstate the so-called SALT itemized deduction for 2020 and 2021. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect in 2018, limited the amount of state and local tax deductions filers could claim on their tax returns to $10,000. … The new proposal doesn’t specify what’s supposed to happen after 2021.” (“House Democrats’ Stimulus Bill Rolls Back $10,000 SALT Cap For 2 Years,” CNBC, 5/12/2020)

Provisions permanently undermining state voter ID requirements …

PAGE 1482: “(2) ADMINISTRATION OF VOTING BY MAIL.—’’(A) PROHIBITING IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT AS CONDITION OF OBTAINING BALLOT.—A State may not require an individual to provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot, except that nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prevent a State from requiring a signature of the individual or similar affirmation as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

PAGES 1499-1500: “SEC. 325. PERMITTING USE OF SWORN WRITTEN STATEMENT TO MEET IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. (a) USE OF STATEMENT.— (1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (c), if a State has in effect a requirement that an individual present identification as a condition of casting a ballot in an election for Federal office, the State shall permit the individual to meet the requirement— (A) in the case of an individual who desires to vote in person, by presenting the appropriate State or local election official with a sworn written statement, signed by the individual under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identity and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote in the election; or (B) in the case of an individual who desires to vote by mail, by submitting with the  ballot the statement described in subparagraph (A).” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

Nationwide ballot harvesting …

PAGES 1492-1493: “(2) PERMITTING VOTERS TO DESIGNATE OTHER PERSON TO RETURN BALLOT.—The State— (A) shall permit a voter to designate any person to return a voted and sealed absentee ballot to the post office, a ballot drop-off location, tribally designated building, or election office so long as the person designated to return the ballot does not receive any form of compensation based on the number of ballots that the person has returned and no individual, group, or organization provides compensation on this basis; and (B) may not put any limit on how many voted and sealed absentee ballots any designated person can return to the post office, a ballot drop off location, tribally designated building, or election office.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

Diversity reports on cannabis-related businesses …

PAGE 1100: “(h) ANNUAL DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION REPORT.— The Federal banking regulators shall issue an annual report to Congress containing— (1) information and data on the availability of access to financial services for minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses…”  (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

PAGE 1100: “(i) GAO STUDY ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION.—(1) STUDY.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall carry out a study on the barriers to marketplace entry, including in the licensing process, and the access to financial services for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

Provisions ensuring cannabis businesses can work with federally backed banks and insurers …

PAGES 1088-1089: “SEC. 110606. SAFE BANKING. … The purpose of this section is to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers…” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

A new ‘soil health’ pilot program at USDA which would pay farmers to NOT farm and to plant grass on 5 million acres of productive farmland …

PAGES 745-747: “SEC. 60501. EMERGENCY SOIL HEALTH AND INCOME PROTECTION PILOT PROGRAM. … The Secretary [of Agriculture] shall establish a voluntary emergency soil health and income protection pilot program under which eligible land is enrolled through the use of contracts to assist owners and operators of eligible land to conserve and improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources of the eligible land.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

  • “(a) DEFINITION OF ELIGIBLE LAND.—In this section, the term “eligible land” means cropland that—(1) is selected by the owner or operator of the land for proposed enrollment in the pilot program under this section; and (2) as determined by the Secretary, had a cropping history or was considered to be planted during each of the 3 crop years preceding enrollment…. (1) REQUIREMENTS.—A contract described in subsection (b) shall— (A) be entered into by the  Secretary, the owner of the eligible land, and (if applicable) the operator of the eligible land; and (B)  provide that, during the term of the contract— (i) the lowest practicable cost perennial conserving use cover crop for the eligible land, as determined by the applicable State conservationist after considering the advice of the applicable State technical committee, shall be planted on the eligible land … PAYMENTS.— (A)  RENTAL  RATE.—Except as provided in paragraph (4)(B)(ii), the annual rental rate for a payment under a contract described in subsection (b) shall be $70 per acre…. (d) ACREAGE LIMITATION.—Not more than 5,000,000 total acres of eligible land may be enrolled under the pilot program under this section.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

And a ‘facility’ within the Federal Reserve to make ‘long-term, low-cost loans to debt collectors’ to ‘temporarily compensate’ them until consumers’ payments resume.

PAGES 1064-1065: “(4) CREDIT FACILITY.—The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall— (A) establish a facility, using amounts made available under section 4003(b)(4) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9042(b)(4)), to make long-term, low-cost loans to debt collectors to temporarily compensate such debt collectors for documented financial losses caused by forbearance of debt payments under this subsection; and (B) defer debt collectors’ required payments on such loans until after consumers’ debt payments resume.” (H.R. 6800, 116th Congress)

 

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Mitch McConnell Cheers Lack Of Marijuana Banking Protections In New COVID Bill