Prospects are dimming for fast-track congressional consideration of legislation to open banking services to marijuana businesses, regulate stablecoins and promote more competition on credit-card swipe fees.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has told lawmakers he opposes efforts to attach unrelated measures to critical legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, a person familiar with his discussions told Bloomberg News. Backers of those bills had sought to use that maneuver to win quick approval for the legislation.

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., meets with reporters following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell also is signaling he will continue to oppose the marijuana banking bill. McConnell has previously helped block the bill.

Without backing from all of the top congressional leaders, it’s extremely difficult to attach legislation to a fast-moving bill like the FAA measure, which must be reauthorized by the end of next week.

Senior Senate Republicans poured cold water on the idea that pot banking – a priority of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – could make it onto the FAA bill, with Texas Senator John Cornyn predicting such an effort would fail. Steve Daines of Montana, a sponsor of the marijuana banking bill, also expressed skepticism in interviews Tuesday.

The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said Wednesday he wants to add to the FAA reauthorization his credit card swipe fee competition bill, which is opposed by the banking industry and supported by retailers. Others have discussed adding bills including one regulating children’s safety and privacy online, a key issue for social media companies with broad bipartisan support.


Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he expects Johnson and McConnell to block unrelated items, dimming his hopes for attaching one of his own priorities – permitting reform legislation key to energy development. Stablecoin legislation meanwhile is in limbo with no deal yet between Democratic Representative Maxine Waters and Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry.

A House-passed tax-cut package combining breaks for businesses and an expanded child tax credit also continues to languish as Republican senators argue breaks for low-income parents are too large and will discourage them from working. Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, who backs the tax break package, is trying to attach it to any crucial legislation.

“This is probably the last major must-pass bill before the election,” said Cornyn about senators’ rush to add items to the FAA bill. “It’s going to be a pretty bumpy process.”


With assistance from Zach C. Cohen.

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