ETA Commends Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer for His Leadership on Ending Operation Choke Point

The House of Representatives has passed the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, a bill authored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) to permanently end Operation Choke Point.

Operation Choke Point – holding processors liable for fraud committed by a merchant – was bad for our industry, our economy and our nation. By putting legal pressure on payments companies, the Department of Justice hoped to stifle politically unfavored – but legal – merchants by cutting off their access to electronic payments. And at the base of it, ETA members were the ‘choke’ in Choke Point.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice formally ended enforcement of Operation Choke Point, but nothing in the law prohibited it from being utilized in the future.

Thanks to the ongoing leadership of Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Congress has taken a critical step closer to putting to rest the risk that Operation Choke Point unfairly posed to the payments industry.

“Over the past several years, I have led the effort to combat Operation Choke Point,” Rep. Luetkemeyer said in a press release. “It is simple: the federal government should not be able to intimidate financial institutions into dropping entire sectors of the economy as customers, based not on risk or evidence of wrongdoing, but purely on personal and political motivations.”

Like Rep. Luetkemeyer, ETA shares the goal of ending fraud and we believe that the best way to address fraudulent and other illegal activities involving payment systems is to provide the payments industry the flexibility and freedom to continue to develop new technologies and practices to combat financial fraud.

On behalf of over 500 payments technology companies that enable $6 trillion in American commerce, we thank Rep. Luetkemeyer for his ongoing and critical leadership in working to put a permanent end to Operation Choke Point.

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