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Crapo: Restricting Politically Disfavored Industries from Access to Capital an Alarming Idea

Washington, D.C.--In a Senate Banking Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Acting Chair Jerome Powell, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a senior member and former Chairman of the Banking Committee, emphasized his concerns regarding the Fed’s efforts to cut off access to credit and capital for politically disfavored industries, such as oil and gas or firearms companies. 


“Disturbingly, there are some who suggest the Federal Reserve should stop so-called sub-optimal industries from having access to capital--either to restrict their access to capital or to deprive their access to capital,” said Crapo.  “[T]his is a disturbing trend that has come in a number of different contexts over the last few years.  The notion that we should utilize our federal regulatory and supervision authorities to decide which industries are optimal and restrict those we don’t like politically from access to capital is a very alarming idea that I think America should reject quickly.”


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To view Senator Crapo’s questions, click HERE.


During the Obama Administration, Crapo fought against “Operation Choke Point,” an initiative in which Federal agencies pressured banks to “choke-off” politically disfavored industries’ access to payment systems and banking services.  In January, Crapo sent a letter to then-Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Jelena McWilliams requesting transparency on steps taken to address concerns about the initiative and the related 2018 investigation.  Chairman McWilliams responded to the request on January 31, 2022.


Crapo has challenged banks in the past for issuing guidelines that could effectively cut off financial services to law-abiding firearm manufacturers, retailers and firearms purchasers if they do not comply with the bank’s firearms preferences.