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EXCLUSIVE — Chair Sherrod Brown “there's too much opposition to SAFER” Banking to add it to tax package
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EXCLUSIVE — Chair Sherrod Brown “there's too much opposition to SAFER” Banking to add it to tax package

Ep. 4 — Sen. Sherrod Brown (1-9-2024)
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US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says the SAFER Banking Act has been held up because of Republican infighting in the House of Representatives and GOP opposition in the Senate.

“There’s so little time, because of the chaos in the House has meant we’ve got to do Ukraine, we gotta do Israel, we’ve got to keep the government open, we got to do [appropriations],” Brown exclusively tells Ask a Pol. “All that takes precedent over SAFER. It takes precedent over rail.”

Matt Laslo’s a veteran congressional correspondent, new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — a new, people-powered press corps.

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LISTEN: Laslo & Brown

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-2:21

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), slightly edited for clarity.

TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Sherrod Brown 

Matt Laslo: “Any update on SAFER Banking?”

Sherrod Brown: “It’s all about floor time. And the chaos in the House.”

ML: “Yeah.”

Brown stops and turns to filmmaker Anna Kerrigan who was shadowing me at the Capitol.

SB: “Who are you? You are?”

ML: “She’s shadowing me today.”

SB: “I’m sorry.”

Anna Kerrigan: “I know. It’s tough.”

SB: “Is it a punishment?”

AK: “Yeah. It is.”

SB: “Who do you work with? What's the story? What do you do?”

AK: “I’m a filmmaker.”

SB: “Oh, you’re a filmmaker.”

Jokes. We laugh. Small talk.

SB: “Forgive me. What was your question?”

ML: “SAFER…”

SB: “We’re still talking...”

ML: “Floor time.”

SB: “There’s so little time, because of the chaos in the House has meant we’ve got to do Ukraine, we gotta do Israel, we’ve got to keep the government open, we got to do approps [appropriations]. All that takes precedent over SAFER. It takes precedent over rail. It takes precedent over — we hope we're gonna get the tax package in this, but…”

ML: “But can you tack that on — SAFER — to the tax package? Or…?”

SB: “There's too much opposition to SAFER.”

ML: “Really?”

SB: “Yeah. I mean, you gotta get the four leaders to agree, and each has too many in their caucus, particularly Senate Republicans — maybe House Republicans too — have too many. I mean, I'd love to, but I don't know if it’s possible.”

ML: “Have the contours of that debate changed since committee?”

SB: “No, I don't think so.”

ML: “No?”

SB: “Scott was against it, so that makes it pretty hard to sign off, with a ranking member on a committee on something that's in that jurisdiction. We're going to try. I'm sorry.

Other Reporter: “Sorry. On the Child Tax Credit. How do you sell it to colleagues who want more…?”

Brown then discusses the the children’s tax credit for the remainder of recording.

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