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GOP senators want 'Choke Point' loosened

Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee called on Monday for the Justice Department to end its controversial "Operation Choke Point" program, which allows feds to mandate that banks not do business with certain industries.

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The lawmakers asked the outgoing Cabinet official to outline how Justice Department officials will continue to implement the controversial program by Nov. 2.

"As part of Operation Choke Point, rather than initiating cases against specific bad actors ... Federal agencies devised a list of certain 'high-risk merchant' categories with the intent of 'choking-off' these merchants’ access to payment systems and banking services," the lawmakers wrote.

"This list appears to have been created with no public input, no compliance guidance or metrics for private entities to follow, and with disregard for the legality of a merchant’s operation. Further, the list has been used as a pretext by DOJ to limit essential banking services for industries out of favor by this Administration."