‘Wall Street banks are taking taxpayer dollars with one hand and condescending to them … by using the other hand to come after the guns…’
(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Sen. John Neely Kennedy, R-Louisiana, is taking shots at Citigroup and Bank of America for accepting taxpayer money while trying to restrict the Second Amendment gun rights of their customers.
Kennedy last week introduced the “No Red and Blue Banks Act,” which would “to prohibit the federal government from giving contracts to banks that discriminate against lawful businesses based solely on social policy considerations.”
Specifically, Kennedy is targeting the banks for anti-gun policies they have implemented this year.
Citigroup announced in March that it will no longer do business with “retail sector clients or partners” unless they adopt three types of gun restrictions, including refusing to “sell bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.”
Similarly, Bank of America said it would stop lending to makers of semi-automatic weapons.
Kennedy not only introduced his legislation to withdraw government contracts from Citigroup and BoA, but also said he has “already petitioned the General Services Administration to cancel the federal government’s $700 billion contract with Citigroup.”
Increasingly, as a wave of virulent leftist activism has pressured financial institutions to align with progressive social agendas, some banks have sought to avoid the negative consequences–everything from bad publicity to destruction of property.
However, Sen. Kennedy noted that both banks exist only because taxpayers, through the federal government, bailed them out during the financial crisis of 2008-09 – Citigroup to the tune of $476 billion, BoA in the amount of $336 billion.
Citigroup complained that Kennedy is trying to “politicize the competitive process through which we bid to provide critical financial services to the government.” Kennedy, in effect, said he is merely responding to the banks’ own hyper-politicization.
He said in Senate floor remarks that the banks “have a political agenda, and those banks’ political agenda stands to hurt many small businesses in my state of Louisiana who are going to lose their banking services, simply because these small businesses choose to exercise their constitutionally protected Second Amendment right. … It’s a threat to the sanctity of our very constitution and the Second Amendment.”
Kennedy said he would disagree with a grocery store as well if a grocer tried to insist that its customers adopted certain social policies, but he would not consider it a matter for Congress. He said big banks, though, are different – especially ones like these two, considered by the federal government to be “too big to fail.”
“Banks are not grocery stores,” Kennedy said. “A grocery store doesn’t need a government charter to operate. A grocery store doesn’t have a government corporation, backed by the taxpayers in this country, to insure their deposits. A grocery store doesn’t have a government bank that pays them interest. Banks do.”
Kennedy left this parting verbal shot, while promising to strongly pursue his legislation:
“I find it offensive that Wall Street banks are taking taxpayer dollars with one hand and condescending to them with their ‘we know better than you do’ attitude, and by using the other hand to come after the guns that those taxpayers lawfully own under the Second Amendment.”