Lawmakers Throw Light on Secretive ‘Operation Choke Point’

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Is “Operation Choke Point” about to get choked by Congress? Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sure hopes so.

    Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is calling for the dismantling of what he calls a secretive initiative launched by the Obama administration in early 2013.

    Critics say that Operation Choke Point, so dubbed by Department of Justice officials under Attorney General Eric Holder, seeks to weed out businesses from the marketplace that the Obama administration considers objectionable. According to The Wall Street Journal, it was an outgrowth of the Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama’s executive order early in his first term.

    The initiative, Issa said last week, is a slippery slope:

    “If you empower the government to pick winners and losers within a lawful enterprise, then there is no place to stop.”

    Initially, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, officials targeted small-dollar, nonbank lenders. But it grew to include other legal, legitimate businesses such as gun dealers and tobacco vendors at Walmart and Bass Pro Shop.

    Issa, speaking on Operation Choke Point at Cato Institute, called it “proactive, progressive activity” by government against banks and other legitimate businesses.

    “Fraud should be prosecuted,” Norbert Michel, research fellow in financial regulations at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “They don’t have to use the banking system to shut out every single player in an industry to do that.”

    House Republicans already have passed legislation prohibiting funding for Operation Choke Point. This week, the Justice Department initiative comes under further scrutiny in three House settings:

    This morning at 10, the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing on the Justice Department initiative.
    Today at 2 p.m., the Financial Services Committee’s subcommittee on financial institutions subcommittee was set to hold a hearing on a new bill by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), the “End Operation Choke Point Act of 2014.”
    Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on regulatory reform will hold a hearing entitled “Guilty Until Proven Innocent?” on whether Justice has the legal authority to execute the operation and possible collateral damage to legitimate businesses.
    One official at Justice, quoted anonymously in a Wall Street Journal report last summer, said the initiative was intended to change “the structures within the financial system that allow all kinds of fraudulent merchants to operate,” with the intent of “choking them off from the very air they need to survive.”

    By “air,”the DOJ means money. The Obama administration uses Operation Choke Point to intimidates banks from doing business with merchants it deems “high risk,” Issa and other critics say.
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Apr 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Obama's most recent target of this tactic is the gun industry. Rumor is that these hearings were prompted by complaints through the gun lobby. I say, "Go for it." Anyway we can win back our freedoms, even if it has to be one battle at a time, is good idea.

Share This Page