An Obama Administration plan that intimidated banks into cutting off the business accounts of gun stores is coming under increased Congressional review.
A controversial federal law enforcement program that critics say targeted businesses the Obama administration didn’t like is about to face a new wave of congressional scrutiny, with Capitol Hill hearings set to begin Tuesday.
Under the program, called Operation Choke Point, banks and other financial institutions were reportedly pressured to cut off accounts for targeted businesses. This included gun stores, casinos, tobacco distributors, short-term lenders and other businesses.
Critics claim the program — overseen by the Justice Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other agencies — was used to squeeze legal companies that some politicians considered morally objectionable.
“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.”
Banks and other financial institutions were told that if they did not stop dealing with those companies that the Administration found morally objectionable, that they would come under increased scrutiny themselves, including more thorough and more frequent audits that would disrupt their own businesses.
Operation Choke Point appears to be nothing more or less than a bullying campaign that uses the power of the Executive branch as a blunt force object as a more subtle version of the “morality police” seen in some cultures.
If traced back through the Justice Department (again), the FDIC and other agencies to the White House, it would appear to be yet another gross abuse of power by a lawless White House.
The gun companies targeted by Choke Point had their bank accounts closed, found it difficult to find new banks that would take them as customers, and had credit card processing companies refuse to deal with them. These are major issues in a country where many citizens rely almost entirely on “paying with plastic” instead of carrying around large amounts of cash.
This government abuse of power from the Obama regime did have one positive outcome.
On of the first companies that was targeted under Operation Choke Point was McMillan USA. Third generation industry veteran Terry McMillan responded by creating his own credit-card processing company for gun companies, McMillan Merchant Solutions. Another company, PistolPay, was created as an online alternative for customers to anti-gun companies like PayPal.
Efforts by the Obama administration to undermine the Second Amendment bit-by-bit through executive actions both legal and illegal have been, as you might say, fast and furious.
Amusingly, his abuses of power have only triggered a much larger surge in the desire of law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms for the defense of themselves, and their liberty.