WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Mike Braun (R-IN) today introduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. This bill prohibits federal regulators from arbitrarily forcing banking institutions to terminate their relationships with legal businesses solely because the operations of the businesses are not in line with the views of the contemporaneous administration. This bill was previously introduced in 2019.
Upon introduction of this bill, Sen. Cornyn said:
“This nation was founded on the basis of free expression for all individuals, and that sacred right must be protected. I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this critical bill that will prevent this Administration from financially discriminating against law-abiding Texans for the crime of not sharing their partisan leanings.”
Sen. Cruz said:
“This bill ensures legal business aren’t wrongfully and unconstitutionally denied access to financial institutions solely because they have different political beliefs than those of the executive branch – as was seen during the Obama-Biden administration. I am proud to defend the first amendment rights of all Americans and empower law-abiding businesses to thrive without arbitrary interference from hyper-partisan government officials.”
Sen. Inhofe said:
“I am proud to join Sen. Cruz today in re-introducing the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act to ensure that law-abiding businesses, like those that support our constitutional right to bear arms, will not be abused again by a future administration. As part of our rights put forth in the Constitution, every American has the right to keep and bear arms. Under former President Obama, his administration sought to harm legitimate, law-abiding businesses by encouraging financial institutions to exclude them from services simply because their businesses didn’t align with the administration’s political views. I’m proud to join this effort to fight back against the liberal efforts to cancel our constitutional rights.”
Sen. Crapo said:
“I have fought against Operation Choke Point for a number of years because of its fundamentally flawed and unfair targeting of certain industries. The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act furthers those efforts by ensuring federal banking agencies cannot formally or informally terminate a customer or group of customers without material, legitimate reasons to do so. Terminating customers purely for political or reputational risk denies law-abiding individuals and companies from accessing the financial resources needed to fully participate in the economy.”
Sen. Tillis said:
“The government shouldn’t have the ability to pressure financial institutions on which industries they are allowed to do business with based on the political beliefs of the administration in power like we are currently seeing under the Biden Administration. America’s private industries should be safeguarded from political bias. This legislation will protect America’s private sector and small businesses by ensuring federal regulators act based on their merits and not political ideology.”
Sen. Cramer added:
“Federal banking agencies should be servants of the American people, not political henchmen for whichever party holds the White House. Our bill protects consumers access to financial services and prevents financial institutions from undue political pressure by the federal government.”
Read the full text of Sen. Cruz’s bill here.