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House to Consider CUNA-Backed Choke Point Bill
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 6:40 AM

Both chambers of Congress are in session this week, and the congressional schedule includes consideration of a Credit Union National Association-supported bill, as well as a number of hearings postponed due to last week’s blizzard.

This week, the full House will take up the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 766), which was passed by the House Financial Services Committee in November. The bill would prohibit a federal banking agency from suggesting, requesting or ordering a depository institution to terminate either specific accounts, or otherwise restrict or discourage it from a banking relationship with a specific consumer, unless the agency has a material reason to do so that is not based solely on reputation risk.

H.R. 766 is aimed at the Department of Justice’s controversial Operation Choke Point, which allows investigations into whether financial institutions and payment-processing companies have enabled fraudulent activity. Critics, including CUNA, have said it has caused consumers to be separated from the mainstream financial services marketplace.

The House Financial Services Committee and its subcommittees will also conduct several hearings this week which CUNA will be monitoring, including:

  • Today, full committee markup on views and estimates for the fiscal year 2017;
  • Today, subcommittee on oversight and investigations hearing, titled “Unsustainable Federal Spending and the Debt Limit;” and
  • Wednesday, Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing hearing, titled “Trading with the Enemy: Trade-Based Money Laundering is the Growth Industry in Terror Finance."