Calling a secretive government operation to strangle politically out-of-favor businesses “more dangerous” than the IRS targeting scandal, a congressman with a background in banking is preparing to introduce legislation to kill the Obama administration initiative.
“I believe this activity is probably more dangerous and more disastrous than that of the IRS scandal because this is running people out of business for no reason and it’s harming livelihoods, incomes [and] families,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said today in an interview with The Daily Signal.
Luetkemeyer, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, was comparing the Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point to the Internal Revenue Service’s much-reviled targeting of tea party and other conservative groups.
Operation Choke Point seeks to cut off the financial lifeblood of payday lenders and other industries the Obama administration doesn’t like by pressuring banks to close their accounts with such businesses.
The government contends that Operation Choke Point combats unlawful, mass-market consumer fraud. However, a congressional report revealed that the initiative’s targets include legal businesses such as short-term lenders, firearms and ammunition merchants, coin dealers, tobacco sellers and home-based charities.