U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi
Senators say Amalgamated Bank is “weaponizing the financial system to enact far-left political goals.”
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) have joined 24 colleagues on a letter to Amalgamated Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Sims Brown, criticizing the institution’s work to force U.S. financial services firms to categorize gun purchases.
The group of Senators characterized the bank’s manipulation of an international rules organization known as the International Standards Organization (ISO) as an indefensible attempt to target law-abiding Americans exercising their constitutional right to purchase firearms.
“We write to you about your bank’s manipulation of an international rules organization to force U.S. financial services firms to categorize gun purchases,” the Senators wrote. “Your bank is attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans by going around the democratic process. You should expect Congressional oversight of your actions.”
The lawmakers wrote that the ISO based in Switzerland created a merchant category code (MCC) specifically to target, surveil and discourage gun and ammunition sellers.
“Your actions were a major step toward targeting law-abiding Americans exercising their right to purchase firearms, a right that is protected by the Constitution,” the letter continued.
The group of Senators argued that Amalgamated Bank’s website clearly shows that it has fully embraced an anti-firearm agenda.
“Whether it is choosing to debank firearms manufacturers, forcing all commercial clients to adopt anti-gun control codes, or divesting customer assets from lawful businesses, these decisions demonstrate your attempt to force your political views on law-abiding Americans,” the letter said. “If you want to change gun policy, you should run for office and make yourself accountable to voters. What’s worse, these actions weren’t enough for you, so you set your sights on forcing these radical and discriminatory policies on the entire financial system.”
The lawmakers added that there was good reason the ISO rejected the bank’s previous three applications for this policy, as such a move is purely political, not to mention the immense regulatory and compliance burden it will ultimately place on retailers.
“Let us be clear: weaponizing the financial system to enact far-left political goals is inexcusable,” the lawmakers wrote. “The fundamental rights of Americans should be legislated on and debated by the elected officials who are sent to Washington, D.C. on their constituents’ behalf, and not by progressive activist CEOs or un-elected bureaucrats in Geneva.”
“You should consider this notice to retain all communications involving your role in ISO’s categorization scheme, and you should anticipate testifying before Congress in the near future,” the letter concluded.
Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) led the letter to Amalgamated Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Sims Brown.
Senator Hagerty said that the letter to CEO Brown warns her that there will be Congressional oversight for the bank’s actions.
Amalgamated bank is attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans by going around the democratic process. @SenTomCotton & I have led our colleagues in sending a letter to CEO Brown, warning her that there will be Congressional oversight for the bank’s actions. pic.twitter.com/Zc2b6BCcVR
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) October 2, 2022
“Amalgamated bank is attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans by going around the democratic process,” Hagerty said.