SAFE Banking Heads For Senate Banking Committee Hearing May 11—What To Expect
The Senate Banking Committee set to meet on May 11 for discovery on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act—a key piece of legislation sought by cannabis industry participants to widen depositor institution involvement. As such, TDR looked into the procedural steps on what to expect at tomorrow’s meeting, as SAFE Banking once again has its day in the sun.
A Senate Banking Committee hearing is a formal proceeding in which members of the committee gather to hear testimony and gather information related to issues within the jurisdiction of the committee. The primary purpose of these hearings is to gather information and opinions from expert witnesses, government officials, and stakeholders in order to inform the committee’s decision-making process and potential legislation. This information will be used to shape the bill’s policy as the evolves through committee.
As with all Congressional hearings, there are a relatively fixed set of procedures that take place in the discovery process.
The pre-hearing itinerary includes actually scheduling of the hearing itself, which already took place last week in advance of tomorrow’s meeting. The committee generally sets a date and time for the hearing at least a week in advance, which has already happened.
The second procedure involved is witness selection, which determines who will testify at the hearing. This has taken place according to Marijuana Moment, while further noting that in addition to the top bipartisan sponsor participation, an equity-focused cannabis reform activist, a union representative, a cannabis financial services company executive and a leading prohibitionist advocate will also share their perspective on the legislation.
The witness roster is generally designed to include a broad cross-section of industry participants to glean as many competing perspectives as possible.
Once the hearing actually begins, there are four procedures that observers can expect to take place at the May 11th SAFE Banking Act hearing:
• Opening Statement: The first of which are the opening statements from the committee members, which marks the opening of the hearing. These statements typically provide an overview of the issues at hand and the committee’s objectives.
• Witness testimony: Witnesses are given an opportunity to provide testimony and answer questions from the committee members. Each witness typically has a set amount of time to speak, and the committee members may ask questions to clarify or expand upon the testimony.
• Questioning by committee members: Following the witness testimony, the committee members have an opportunity to question the witnesses. Members may ask specific questions related to the witness’s testimony or the broader issues at hand.
• Closing statements: After all witnesses have testified and the committee members have asked their questions, the hearing concludes with closing statements from the committee members. These statements may summarize the key points made during the hearing, provide additional commentary or analysis, or preview potential next steps for the committee.
Throughout the hearing, the committee chair or a designated member of the committee oversees the proceedings and enforces any relevant rules or protocols. The hearing may also be broadcast live or recorded for later viewing by the public.
TDR will have additional coverage as events warrant.