An Obama-era initiative called Operation Choke Point was a politically unpopular measure that essentially went after businesses that Democrats did not like.
The Obama-era rule was designed as a way to choke off firearms dealers and payday lenders through Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guidance that amounted to strong-arm tactics.
As noted by Forbes contributor Norbert Michel, it was “an egregious affront to the rule of law.”
During his term in office, former President Donald Trump ended the operation, which had begun in 2013.
Trump actually took it one step further to protect the Second Amendment and issued the “Fair Access Rule” in January, which was designed to preclude another such round of intimidation.
The rule said, “banks should conduct a risk assessment of individual customers, rather than make broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers when provisioning access to services, capital, and credit.”
In a piece published in The Federalist on Friday, Kelsey Bolar, a policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative group, wrote that “[u]nder Operation Choke Point, federal regulators instructed banks to do the opposite — to openly discriminate against entire industries the Obama administration found objectionable.”
“Weaponizing the power of banking regulators at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Obama administration realized it could block entire industries from the banking system that it didn’t like. This made it difficult — if not impossible — for politically unfavored businesses such as gun sellers and short-term lenders to operate,” she wrote.
“Essentially, by using the power of federal banking regulators to intimidate banks from providing their services to these industries, the administration choked off their access to the financial system, leaving them paying more for essential banking services, or unable to use a bank at all.”
Introducing the Fair Access Rule in January, acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian P. Brooks said that it was critical that legal businesses and organizations had access to banking services.
“When a large bank decides to cut off access to charities or even embassies serving dangerous parts of the world or companies conducting legal businesses in the United States that support local jobs and the national economy, they need to show their work and the legitimate business reasons for doing so,” Brooks said in a statement.
While a late-January statement from the Biden administration’s Office of Comptroller of the Currency noted:
“The OCC’s long-standing supervisory guidance stating that banks should avoid termination of broad categories of customers without assessing individual customer risk remains in effect,” the office still announced it was pausing the Trump administration’s Fair Access Rule.
“Pausing publication of the rule in the Federal Register will allow the next confirmed Comptroller of the Currency to review the final rule and the public comments the OCC received, as part of an orderly transition,” read the Jan. 28 notice.
Let’s be very clear: the Biden administration is supremely focused on “gun control.”
In announcing his first attack on gun rights last Sunday, Biden talked of “eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”
Democrats can’t pass legislation that could ban all guns.
Democrats can, however, pass legislation that would end with any company that makes those firearms being hounded through the legal system even if it followed every law.
If something like Operation Choke Point was instituted again, this time focusing solely on firearms dealers, it could have a chilling effect at the retail level.
The Obama-era policy is symbolic of the larger attempt by government actors to choke politically disfavored industries and individuals from the mainstream.”
This is cancel culture, but instead of kicking you off social media, they want to cancel your rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.
This is how liberals are going to fight their war on constitutional freedoms.
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Author: Martin Walsh
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