Kennedy introduces bill to stop banks from discriminating against American businesses based on politics
May 26 2021
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today introduced the No Red and Blue Banks Act, which would prohibit the federal government from entering contracts with banks that discriminate against lawful businesses based solely on social policy considerations.
“If banks want to become political actors and impose their policy positions on Americans, they shouldn’t get to rake in taxpayer dollars from government contracts. The No Red and Blue Banks Act would block banks that discriminate based on their own political values from profiting off federal contracts,” said Kennedy.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is an original co-sponsor of this legislation.
- On March 22, 2018, Citigroup announced new guidelines imposing three extralegal requirements on gun sales made by its partner businesses. The guidelines force businesses to adopt background check requirements, restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age and refrain from selling bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.
- A few weeks later, Bank of America followed suit and announced that it would be winding down its business dealings with companies that manufacture semi-automatic rifles.
- In both announcements, these banks cited social concerns about gun violence as motivation to take action.
- These banks took action to restrict legal commercial activity, above and beyond the limitations on gun and accessory sales that Congress has already imposed.
- Citigroup and Bank of America were among the “systemically important banks” granted bailouts during the Great Recession, totaling more than $812.3 billion taxpayer dollars.
- Citigroup is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards, with nearly $500 billion in annual purchases. The bank serves 100 million customers in 19 markets.
- Bank of America has more than 47 million customers and a retail footprint that reaches 80% of the United States.
Text of the No Red and Blue Banks Act is available here.