Justice Department to end Obama-era "Operation Choke Point"

The Justice Department has committed to ending a controversial Obama-era program that discourages banks from doing business with a range of companies, from payday lenders to gun retailers.

The move hands a big victory to Republican lawmakers who charged that the initiative — dubbed “Operation Choke Point” — was hurting legitimate businesses.

In a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd referred to the program as “a misguided initiative.”

“We share your view that law abiding businesses should not be targeted simply for operating in an industry that a particular administration might disfavor,” says the letter, obtained by progressive activist group Allied Progress and later provided to POLITICO by Goodlatte’s office. “Enforcement decisions should always be made based on facts and the applicable law.