Congress to hear complaints on ‘Operation Choke Point’

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As I told you on the show a couple of weeks ago (March 7, 2015), the Obama Administration was using Operation Choke Point to pressure banks and other financial institutions to cut off accounts for lawful businesses.  In fact one prominent cigar retailer told me his bank was pressured to cut him off.

Fox News reports that Congress will now hear complaints:

“Our concern is you have agencies in the Obama administration that are using government as a weapon and they going after industries and people that they don’t like,” said Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, who co-chairs the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “This is not the old Soviet Union or Venezuela or Cuba. I think it’s important for all Americans to stand up and push back on policies that are an abuse of government.”

The subcommittee hearings are expected to begin midday Tuesday. More may be scheduled in the future.

Operation Choke Point reportedly were targeting legal businesses like gun stores, casinos, cigar retailers, short-term lenders and more.

More from Fox News:

Several members of Congress have openly called Operation Choke Point a blatant abuse of power, and an example of government bureaucrats appointing themselves morality police so they could operate around the law.

Duffy and other lawmakers plan to question FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg about Operation Choke Point and its intention.

In response to the controversy, the FDIC put out a statement which said in part: “It is the FDIC’s policy that insured institutions that properly manage customer relationships are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any customer operating in compliance with applicable law … the FDIC has a responsibility to cooperate with other government agencies and to ensure that the banks we supervise are adhering to laws, including those governing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Initially, the FDIC put out a list of 30 high-risk businesses, but that list has since been rescinded.

The U.S. Consumer Coalition claimed taking down that list only removed a guideline, and without a specific list of businesses, the subjectivity of who gets targeted was increased.

This is just another attempt by the Obama Administration to bully their way to get what they want.