Washington, D.C. – Following a letter sent by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), and Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) requesting that multiple federal agencies repudiate Operation Choke Point, the Department of Justice has announced that it has formally ended this Obama-era program. The Obama Administration initiated Operation Choke Point to discourage financial institutions from offering services to businesses that the Administration opposed—including firearms dealers.

Chairman Goodlatte, Chairman Hensarling, Regulatory Reform Subcommittee Chairman Marino, Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Luetkemeyer, and IP Subcommittee Chairman Issa praised the Justice Department’s decision in the joint statement below.

“We applaud the Trump Justice Department for decisively ending Operation Choke Point. The Obama Administration created this ill-advised program to suffocate legitimate businesses to which it was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses.  Targeted industries, such as firearms dealers, were presumed guilty by the Obama Justice Department until proven innocent, and many businesses are still facing the repercussions of this misguided program. This is no way for law enforcement to operate and runs counter to principles enshrined in our Constitution. By ending Operation Choke Point, the Trump Justice Department has restored the Department’s responsibility to pursue lawbreakers, not legitimate businesses.”