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House Financial Services Committee Passes Luetkemeyer Bill to Thwart Operation Choke Point

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Washington, July 30, 2015 | comments
The House Financial Services Committee passed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) legislation which would prevent federal agencies from abusing executive power and blocking the access of legally-operating businesses to financial services.
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The House Financial Services Committee passed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (MO-03) legislation which would prevent federal agencies from abusing executive power and blocking the access of legally-operating businesses to financial services.

Luetkemeyer’s legislation, H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, would dictate that agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve could not request or order a financial institution to terminate a banking relationship unless the regulator has material reason. In addition, the legislation would strike the word “affecting” in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), replacing it with “by” or “against.” This is to ensure the Department of Justice’s broad misinterpretation of the law is limited and the original intent of the statute is restored.

“I am pleased a group of bipartisan Members of the Financial Services Committee showed there is a need to curb the abuse of authority seen in Operation Choke Point,” Luetkemeyer said. “This legislation needs to be codified into law so that federal agencies don’t fall into the illegal and abusive practices seen out of the FDIC and Justice Department. I hope this legislation is quickly brought to the floor so we can halt this unconstitutional and unprecedented program and return order and reason to the financial institution examination processes.”

H.R. 766 passed the Financial Services Committee by a vote of 35-19.

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