• Cloakroom Confidential: Merkley’s Banking Hypocricy

    Some liberals have a terrible problem with hypocrisy when it comes to banking. Steve Sherman has a great piece over at Townhall that explains how Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is doing everything in his power to expand banking to marijuana shops in his home state while trying to limit access for many Oregonians to online banking services.

    Sherman writes:

    Twenty-three states have legalized pot either recreationally or medicinally with the most well known being Colorado. While many are enjoying their Rocky Mountain High free from the worry of going to jail, the pot shops are hamstrung by our government. Your local, mom and pop pot shop has banking problems. The problem stems from federal banking laws that make it illegal for banks to do business with anyone dealing in a schedule 1 narcotic such as cannabis. Legal marijuana dealers are forced to run a straight cash business. Therefore, the regular banks shy away from all things pot. No credit cards, no checks, no bank accounts, nothing but gym bags full of cold hard cash. What could go wrong with that?

    So Merkley has introduced legislation to protect banking for his friends in the marijuana industry.

    Yet when it comes to online lenders, he wants to do the opposite:

    As ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee of Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, Senator Merkley has led the charge to crack down on Internet lending. In the name of consumer protection he has effectively targeted a thriving industry that is meeting the needs of customers all across America. Merkley recently asked the Department of the Treasury to look into the business practices in the FinTech world and just see how government can insert itself to protect the consumers. If all goes well, maybe he can increase the size and scope of government and crush a blossoming industry, all in the name of the consumer, right?

    The common thread in his quest is that the big banks want to crack down on internet lenders, while at the same time profit off of marijuana growers and sellers using their financial services. Hypocrisy is not in short supply when it comes to how politicians act in Washington, DC.

    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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