Operation Choke Point: Government Extortion Made Legal

If you have not heard about this, you need to watch this 1 minute clip below and send it to all your friends. This is one of the most nefarious attempts yet by Obama’s cronies in the Justice Department to control and/or influence various private industry, including firearms and ammunition manufacturers, via Government extortion. 

Thank God this measure got shot down in Congress but don’t be surprised if BHO pulls one of his famous “Executive Actions”, aka, “The Tyrant’s Pen” very soon.

I warned over 3 years go that the last year of Obama’s reign would be the most dangerous and I think I am being proven right.-SF

 

Find Out If Your Lawmaker Voted to End Operation Choke Point

The House of Representatives concluded a tense debate Thursday by voting 250-169 to end a controversial Obama administration program called Operation Choke Point.

Critics say the secretive program, run by the Department of Justice, has been used to target politically unpopular industries such as gun sellers.

“We’re elated,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told The Daily Signal after the vote. “We’ve been working on this for two and a half years—we’ve been lied to, put off and dissed by the different regulatory agencies, and we’ve prevailed.”

Operation Choke Point was designed by the Justice Department in 2013 as a way to fight fraud by pressuring banks to “choke off”  access to credit and other banking services by merchants and industries the administration considered at a high risk for fraud.

Without access to banking services, it is difficult—if not impossible—for a business to survive.

Republicans who have been fighting the program believe the Obama administration abused its power under Operation Choke Point by targeting entire lines of legal industries. Some members view the tactics as “reminiscent of the IRS targeting of conservatives,” as Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., said Thursday on the House floor.

Businesses targeted under Operation Choke Point include gun sellers, pawn shops and short-term lenders. The National Rifle Association is among groups that have strongly come out against it.

“Congressman Luetkemeyer’s legislation puts an end to the Obama administration’s unwarranted attacks upon a legal and thriving sector of the American economy,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA’s 5 million members, I’d like to thank Congressman Luetkemeyer for his steadfast support of the Second Amendment and congratulate him on the passage of H.R. 766.”

Luetkemeyer’s bill, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act,  bans federal agencies that oversee banks from requesting or ordering that banks terminate customer accounts “unless the regulator has material reason.”

“We are debating a bill on the floor of the House that says the government can’t force banks to shut down legal banking accounts,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., said on the House floor. “The fact that we have to have this debate frightens me.”

The measure requires that any requests to close a customer’s banking account that come from a federal official be made in writing and rely on information other than “reputational risk.”

The term “reputational risk” has become a sticking point in the Operation Choke Point debate, as critics of the program believe the term has been used to provide federal regulators a way to close bank accounts of legal and legitimate businesses the Obama administration doesn’t like.

“Reputational risk” is a commonly used term in the banking industry to describe businesses—often illegal—that are at high risk for fraud.

In 2011, guidelines created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) labeled firearms and ammunition sellers as “reputational risks,” pinning them alongside pornography and other enterprises like Ponzi schemes and racist materials.

According to investigations conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that list was adopted into the Justice Department’s Operation Choke Point. After its adoption, many gun sellers, pawn shops and short-term lenders reported their bank accounts being shut down.

Read the Remainder and See How your Lawmakers Voted at Daily Signal