President Joe Biden (D) has made a first move toward going after an industry he called the “enemy.”
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced it “paused” publication of its November 2020 rule written to ensure that large banks provide customers fair access to their services.
Put that way, it sounds innocuous. It isn’t. The Obama administration attempted to use financial regulations to go after politically incorrect industries, such as gun manufacturers and dealers, by pressuring banks and other companies not to offer financial services to these legal industries. It was called “Operation Choke Point.”
The Trump administration ended this practice.
Then, very late in the Trump administration, the OCC announced a final rule and sought public comment. Activists on the Left and in some financial sector institutions protested, as they didn’t want to have to assess companies they don’t like. This rule didn’t attempt to force them to work with any companies; instead, it cautioned them from discriminating against entire industries.
Now the rule has been “paused.” The OCC now says it wants to “allow the next confirmed Comptroller of the Currency to review the final rule and the public comments the OCC received.”
“The Biden Administration has fired the first shot by improperly interfering in the affairs of the OCC which is an independent agency,” said Larry Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president for Government & Public Affairs and general counsel.
“There’s no reason for today’s action by career officials in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency other than bending to political pressure from big banks, and stalling or eliminating the rule will not stop the efforts of those of us who support it from continuing these efforts. The Biden Administration should use this opportunity to demonstrate leadership and not just be puppets for the large financial interests who back them,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement.
This marks the latest skirmish in a war activists have waged against industries they don’t happen to like. There is some good background information on this issue here.
Now that the Biden administration has chosen to keep this attack on your freedom going, we’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening so that you can respond to legislators or during public-comment periods.