House to Take Up Cannabis Legalization as Voting Resumes

November 28, 2020 Updated: November 28, 2020

The House of Representatives will resume voting on Dec. 2, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Friday.

The House last voted on bills on Nov. 20.

The House will be in session for votes from Wednesday through Friday, Hoyer informed colleagues in a scheduling update.

Five bills are being considered on Dec. 2, including the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and passed by Senate in May—it would “kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges if they keep hiding their audits from U.S. inspectors”—and the Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act of 2019, from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.).

Later in the week, lawmakers will vote on 23 other bills and resolutions.

A resolution introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the House Foreign Affairs chairman who was ousted in a primary race, declares the activities of Russian national Yevgeny Prigozhin and his affiliated entities pose a threat to the national interests and security of the United States and of its allies and partners. Another resolution from Engel condemns the practice of politically motivated imprisonment and calls for the immediate release of political prisoners in Russia while urging the U.S. government to impose sanctions.

Another piece of legislation takes aim at the safety of big cats, prompted by the hit Netflix show “Tiger King.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) introduced the bill earlier this year, telling the public: “While the series is full of fascinating people, my focus is on the animals trapped in disgraceful conditions. I introduced the Big Cat Public Safety Act to put an end to this industry.”

Lawmakers will also consider the MORE Act of 2019, which would decriminalize and deschedule marijuana.

Epoch Times Photo
Various cannabis paraphernalia are seen during the Denver 420 Rally in Denver on May 21, 2016. (Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill last year with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

“Despite the legalization of marijuana in states across the country, those with criminal convictions for marijuana still face second class citizenship. Their vote, access to education, employment, and housing are all negatively impacted,” Nadler said at the time.

“Racially motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionally impacted communities of color. It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide and work to view marijuana use as an issue of personal choice and public health, not criminal behavior. I’m proud to sponsor the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the needless burden of marijuana convictions on so many Americans, and invest in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.”

Democrats are racing to vote on bills that would be harder to pass in the next Congress, where they face a majority as slim as four seats after seeing about a dozen flip in the Nov. 3 election.

Hoyer told lawmakers they should remain in Washington following the votes on Friday.

“As conversations surrounding legislation related to government funding, coronavirus relief, and NDAA are ongoing, these bills will be considered by the House as soon as they are ready. The House may complete legislative business early the week of Dec. 7,” he wrote in a schedule update.

The Senate is resuming business on Monday. Some bills passed by the House will be read and laid aside, and senators will resume consideration of a judicial nominee.

Republicans are pushing to confirm as many such nominees as possible before next Congress, with control of the upper congressional chamber unclear. The GOP has 50 seats so far, with two up for grabs in runoffs in Georgia in January 2021.

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