House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and the other GOP lawmakers said in an Aug. 10 letter that they want the department and related federal agencies to formally "repudiate" Operation Choke Point guidelines. The program attempted to discourage banks from offering financial services to "high risk" customers but was accused of unfairly going after legal businesses including firearms dealers.
"Operation Choke Point was an Obama Administration initiative that destroyed legitimate businesses to which that Administration was ideologically opposed (e.g., firearms dealers) by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses," they wrote. "The damage from this initiative lingers, and [we] request that you take immediate corrective action."
The lawmakers say the roughly six-year-old program led to "abuses" by financial regulators. They are calling for formal policy statements from the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to end such practices.