WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced the Freedom Financing Act today, a bill to ensure large financial institutions cannot deny service to certain constitutionally-protected industries that are fully compliant with all laws and statutes. Senator John Kennedy (R-L.A.) signed on as an original co-sponsor.
“A small number of banks controlling most of the financial sector could effectively illegalize legal commerce by refusing to finance certain industries or process certain transactions,” said Senator Cramer. “Look no further than pro-Second Amendment industries where such discrimination has already occurred. Big banks should not be the arbiters of constitutionality.”
“It’s not a bank’s job to create policy. They need to leave the policymaking to Congress,” said Senator Kennedy. “Banks should not be able to discriminate against lawful customers on the basis of social policy. The banks should keep in mind that these lawful customers are the same hard-working taxpayers who bailed them out during the recession. This legislation will ban big banks from refusing to do business with customers that may not share the same political values as the bank. This kind of power move is an unfair assertion of dominance by the big banks, which is why it should be illegal.”
“American taxpayers need to be reassured their tax dollars that subsidize insurance and bailout policies for banking institutions aren’t weaponized in an attempt to eradicate a lawful industry because it has fallen out of favor with boardroom bureaucrats,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Senator Cramer’s leadership in confronting this issue guarantees social policies are debated and created by the elected officials Americans vote to represent their interests, not by faceless corporate boards representing the interest of the few. We applaud Senator Cramer for his clear vision in correcting this abuse of American trust and taxpayer dollars.”
The Freedom Financing Act focuses on three industries where the most egregious examples of legal commerce being illegalized by large financial institutions have been documented: firearms, ammunition, and sporting goods. Because the intent is not to force financial institutions to do business with certain industries- but rather to ensure that legal commerce is not illegalized- this legislation exempts financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.