Why Operation Choke Point Legislation Is a Big Deal for Direct Response

by Bill McClellan on Apr 4, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Operation_Choke_Point_Things are gearing up for the upcoming Government Affairs Fly-In! We have a great event planned this year with an incredible lineup of key speakers including Kyle Trygstad, Editor, The Hotline; D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine; Lois Greisman, Associate Director at the Federal Trade Commission; and Lee Peeler, President and CEO, Advertising Self-Regulatory Council. It’s a jam-packed lineup with more speaker surprises to be announced soon.

However, this year’s event is about more than just great speakers. Our work has taken on more importance than ever. This year we plan to focus our efforts on Operation Choke Point when we talk with Legislators and Regulators. 

Many of you are already aware of this Obama administration initiative. If you haven’t been following it, the bottom line is that it is bad news for the industry.

What Is Operation Choke Point?

Operation Choke Point is an Obama administration program designed to destroy the banking and payment processing relationships with high-risk merchants, including: “As Seen on TV,” Telemarketing, Sweepstakes, and Get Rich Products. The program began in the summer of 2013 when the Obama administration began going after third-party payment processors. The chilling effects of the initiative have left marketers with less access to the financial services they need to survive and thrive in today’s dynamic marketplace. 

What’s Going On Now?

Since the summer of 2013 the Operation Choke Point fight has played out primarily through regulatory action and within industry bodies.

However, recently H.R. 766, The Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, was introduced as a legislative vehicle designed to end this onerous administration practice. It prohibits a federal banking agency from formally or informally requesting termination of banking activities for reputational risk alone. If signed into law, the government would no longer be able to target industries like ours for political reasons alone.

We Need Your Help!

This bill has been moving through the political process on Capitol Hill. More can and should be done to help it cross the finish line. This year more than ever we need your assistance in this important endeavor.

Make your plans now to join us for this year’s GA Fly-In on May 24-25 in Washington, D.C.  Working together, we can make a difference at this critical juncture for the industry on this important topic.

We look forward to seeing you and as always, ERA stands ready to assist when issues arise that affect your bottom line. 

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The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.