Payback: GOP Targets Citibank’s $700B Government Contract Over Anti-2A Policies

Republicans Target Citibank’s $700 Billion Gov. Contract Over Anti-2A Policies

Actions have consequences. Delta Airlines recently lost $40 million worth of Georgia fuel tax breaks after dropping the NRA from its discount affiliate program following the Parkland shooting. Delta and its shareholders surely felt the sting of that decision.

But the move against Delta may come to look like a drop in the bucket. Citibank could take a hit that would completely redefine the expression “get woke, go broke.” That’s because a group of Republican congressmen want to kill Citibank’s $700 billion contract with Uncle Sam over the bank’s new post-Parkland anti-gun policies.

Republicans Target Citibank’s $700 Billion Gov. Contract Over Anti-2A Policies

Congressman Todd Rokita of Indiana (above) got the ball rolling against the “too big to fail” banking giant. He read about Citibank’s decision to discriminate against those lawfully able to own and possess firearms as well as the bank’s decision to impose arbitrary standards on sales of standard-capacity magazines and certain firearm accessories for business customers.

Rep. Rokita isn’t a fan of the bank’s arbitrary discrimination against gun-owning consumers and retailers who sell firearms, so he’s taking action. He, and some of his fellow congressman want the General Services Administration to kill a $700 billion contract Citibank has to run a portion of the federal government’s purchase card operation.

The Daily Caller has the latest:

Sixteen Republican congressmen are asking the General Services Administration (GSA) to reevaluate a $700 billion contract with Citibank as a result of the the financial institution’s “anti-Second Amendment policies.”

The congressmen, led by Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita, sent a letter to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy on Wednesday, asking her to terminate the contract in response to Citibank’s March announcement restricting its clients participation in gun sales.

“In 2017, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded Citibank a contract of more than $700 billion to partially implement the federal charge card program, SmartPay 3,” the congressmen wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Because of Citibank’s new guidelines targeting customers wishing to exercise their legal Second Amendment rights, we urge you to cancel Citibank’s participation in the SmartPay 3 contract, and award it to a company that does not unfairly restrict a customer’s constitutional rights,” it reads.

Citibank took almost half a trillion dollars of bailout money during the banking crisis a decade ago. Now they want to discriminate against some lawful businesses and certain law-abiding Americans — people whose tax dollars bailed them out.

Losing a lucrative contract of this size would serve as a significant blow for the big bank. And it would send a message that corporate virtue signaling and caving to vocal anti-gun organizations has its costs.

Imagine the outrage if Citibank had proposed withholding services to retailers who served African-Americans. Or members of the LGBT community. How long would that policy last?

Republicans Target Citibank’s $700 Billion Gov. Contract Over Anti-2A Policies

Denying constitutional rights to young adults is no less appalling than discriminating against African-Americans based on the color of their skin. Then again, keeping blacks and other so-called “undesirables” disarmed served as one of the primary reasons for enacting gun control laws in the first place.

 

comments

  1. avatar Don says:

    Excellent action step. Do it! Do it yesterday!

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Aint gonna happen…. I apologize for being the cynical voice in the room, but would it strike anybody as odd, if Citibank spontaneously donated to these guy’s campaigns this year and this whole “problem” just went away? Win-win for the banks and politicos,…. lose-lose for us. Bail out much?

      1. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

        Depends on how much sway the NRA has as it is votes in that sense that count, not money, or Michael Bloomberg would own the Congress on this issue.

      2. avatar CLarson says:

        Having Citibank increase lobbying payments to politicians would not be my preferred method to hurt them, but it would still be progress in my book. The point is to inflict pain so they reverse themselves or at least think twice.

        1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

          Except, Citibank’s money isn’t Citibank’s money. It belongs to the company’s shareholders. You’re inflicting pain on the shareholders in retaliation for the executives’ decisions.

        2. avatar TxRabbit47 says:

          So, it’s time for the shareholders to express their disdain for management’s improper policy decisions. End result? Win/win for everyone.

  2. avatar TommyG says:

    Citibank has not right to profit from taxpayers its discriminating against. Especially when you consider that they only survived because of a tax payer funded bailout.

    1. avatar burley says:

      Citibank has no right to profit from taxpayers.

      There, fixed it for you.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      How are they discriminating? It’s their freedom of association.

      You boycott where you cannot legally carry, don’t you? That’s their legal right to exclude carriers. You have your right to association, as do they.

      Quit being a whiny liberal and looking to the government for solutions.

      1. avatar Adam says:

        I would agree with you except I can’t boycott a company that is being supported by the government through my tax dollars. I don’t have a right of association if my money is being stolen and given to a company which I detest.

        If B hate C, B can boycott C so it doesn’t get B’s money. This is freedom of association and is a good thing.
        If A likes C and has the power to forcefully steal B’s money and give it to C than B has no control over the situation. This is not freedom of association. This is theft.

        So no, B is completely incapable of keeping his money from C because A is stealing from B and giving it to C. B’s only course for correction is to ensure that A no longer gives said stolen money to C. B has no “freedom of association” because A is holding a gun to B’s head and saying “Your money or your life”. A is a highway man that uses the profits of his theft to buy influence with C.

        This isn’t being a “whiny liberal” and asking the government to fix a problem. This is a problem directly created by the government and this is us telling those that steal our money that they need to fix the problem that they are creating. Without the bailout and other government handouts, Citibank would not even exists right now. This whole situation has arisen because freedom of association was not allowed to take place and is being actively restricted through ongoing government handouts.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Do it…do it…do it!😄 And BoA while you’re at it. Actions SHOULD have consequences.

  4. avatar Joe Brow says:

    I’d prefer the government stop giving away taxpayer money to everyone and picking and choosing winners in what is supposed to be a free market no matter the politics..

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Totally agree. But in the world of the tax break, Georgia’s reaction to Delta was overblown, IMO. Dropping off the NRA discount list is not the same as actively discriminating against lawfully operating businesses. A lot of us here noted Citibank was suckling at the DoD teat, and it’s been a bad piggie.

      1. avatar DDay says:

        It wasn’t dropping the discount, it was the way delta did it. They got on their soapbox and poked a finger in gun owners eyes. On twitter, delta was obnoxious about dropping the discount.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Thanks Nancy. What relevance does that have to issue under discussion?

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    Just the threat of something like this will have the bank reevaluating its position. Well played.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I wonder if the Delta airlines shareholders will express their displeasure with Delta’s bullshit NRA position costing the balance sheet 40 million bucks…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Delta generally holds it’s annual shareholder meeting at the end of June so I guess that’s when we’ll find out.

        Overall I doubt it makes investors happy but the company isn’t doing badly at all. $40 million to them isn’t something they want to explain but we’re talking a company worth in excess of $40 billion that’s also posting 11% profit based on revenues which is 8.5% on assets and 35.6% of stockholder equity. That’s down from last year but that $40 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the profit losses they’ve seen due to bad weather this year. They also just returned $542 million to stockholders as dividends (March Quarter) and in the past quarter have posted $547 million as their post-tax profit.

        Time will tell what their stockholders care about.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Using your figures for their profit numbers, GA costing them $40 million a year would (will?) cost them and their shareholders around 2% of total profit/dividends for the foreseeable future. Should get their attention, not a drop in the bucket. Maybe other states could join in?!

  6. avatar uh-oh says:

    Curb stomp that company in to oblivion then spit on the corpse, NO MERCY!
    It’s time the elites learned not to piss on the silent majority, Not one inch means not one inch!

  7. avatar DixieBiker says:

    Please email Ms. Murphy at [email protected] and express your opinions regarding Citi Bank. Remember our objectives and be civil, succinct and non-threatening. Your voice counts more than ever. Thanks!

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Excellent idea. I just sent this:
      Dear Ms. Murphy,
      As a taxpayer and supporter of all of the freedoms secured by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I was rightly surprised when Citibank – a company with which I hold an account – capriciously determined that US businesses and citizens that participate in support of our Second Amendment rights should be punished financially. Since my taxpayer contributions helped to bail out this company nearly a decade ago, I felt betrayed and disheartened that a corporate giant can wield their financial power to attempt to control supposedly non-infringable rights.

      Whether you personally support the 2nd Amendment or not, allowing a huge financial institution to openly encourage the denial of this right to law-abiding citizens should be a scary prospect. What if Boeing decided to not sell airliners to airlines that carry black or gay passengers? Should Ford or GM choose to not support dealers that sell cars to followers of Islam? Perhaps it is okay to not process credit card payments from companies that sell other controversial items – like bibles or condoms?

      Citibank – as a corporation – may have the legal standing to make decisions about who they will serve as their clientele. However, if they expect to serve the US taxpayer, through government supported programs, they must not be allowed to deprive services to the very people from whom they are deriving their government-sponsored profits.

      I urge you to cancel the SmartPay3 contract and send Citibank and other giant corporations the message that political expression is a fine and historically founded right, but that there are consequences to using that freedom to restrict the rights of others.

      Sincerely,

      Defens (name and contact info redacted)

  8. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Too big to fail, too big not to break up under the Sherman Act. Not that this opinion has anything to do with guns.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      I think we need a new, simple, Federal public accommodation law that prohibits publicly-traded corporations from refusing to provide services equally for any lawful purpose.

  9. avatar TxRabbit47 says:

    If COSTCO also changed their Citi VISA card for members, such action would also be deemed appropriate.

  10. avatar ironicatbest says:

    So there are some in government who do want to keep the Constitution ,. ,, Is my Tin Foil Hat on straight?

    1. avatar blahpony says:

      Tin foil works to stop the brain control waves. Everyone refers to aluminium foil as tin foil. The biggest mistake people make is to think aluminium foil is the same as tin foil. Aluminium actually amplifies the brain control waves as much as 10x. You need to use actual tin for your hats to be free.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Brilliant.

      2. avatar Martin B says:

        I quite like the messages I get. It’s almost like company. If a real person is talking I can tune them out. Sometimes I don’t. Should I go to copper for finer tuning of frequencies?

        1. avatar b72512ga says:

          How can you tell if you’re hearing voices in your head, or if they’re random thoughts? I’m confused. Am I thinking about buying a new gun, or is someone telling me to buy a new gun?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Absolutely. Go buy a new gun. Pick the really good one!

    2. avatar Coffee Addict says:

      bespoke aluminium haberdashery, if you please. we’re not animals.

  11. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    If Citibank is screwing us. We. People of the gun should pull out of all their banking functions.
    I did it to Chase. Closed every account I had with them and even refinanced my mortgage with another bank. All to get away from making money for Chase Bank.
    Chase is as antigun as it gets too.

    1. avatar Alex in Oregon says:

      Maybe the big wigs at Chase are anti’s but not all the employees. Won a drawing and had to get a letter notarized stating I was eligible to receive the prize and the guy was excited for me.

  12. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Give that man a cee-gar! Kudos

  13. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

  14. avatar CZ Peasy says:

    “$700 billion contract.” WTF?!?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      It’s for government issued credit cards.

      So that gov’t workers can gas up government vehicles and pay for other expenditures that are part of their day-to-day operational costs. Adds up to a pretty penny, eh?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If it’s like the ones my wife and I suffered through back in the day, it’s a real screw job. You are pushed to have and use the card, to be reimbursed for expenditures. Then 6 weeks go by before the reimbursement, you get to pay the interest. Meanwhile, gov’t is using your credit instead of their own. One friend was pushed into applying for the card when she was certain she would be denied due to credit history, sure enough she was denied and *forever after* will have to answer “yes” when asked if she has ever been denied credit. The bride and I refused them (we have plenty of credit cards, thank you) and suffered the consequences.

    2. avatar Martin B says:

      Is that the profit they make for the deal, or is the $700B the amount that they are dealing with?

  15. avatar jwtaylor says:

    I wrote about this the first time it came up here, but no one should have anything to do with Citigroup. Especially under this CEO. They have been caught, pled guilty to, or convicted a number of times for defrauding customers as well as laundering drug money for cartels.
    Just do a quick Google search on it you’ll get tons of stories going back almost a decade.
    They are absolute scum.

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      Sounds like you are talking about Wells Fargo.

  16. avatar tjb says:

    There is a white house petition the that affect as well. It was started march 22 and has until april 21 to get to 100,000 signatures. Unfortunately, they are only at 2750 right now. Must have done a bad job promoting it..

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/replace-anti-civil-rights-citigroupcitibank-provider-official-credit-cards-united-states-government

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      They now have one more.

  17. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Libertarians can argue till the cows come home about this Citibank deal with the government. The bottom line is a multi-billion-dollar company is trying to crush the civil rights of citizens and even its own customers I hope this Bank goes out of business.

    And thank God there are people in the government elected officials who are willing to stand up for the constitutional rights of the citizens.

  18. avatar Jeff says:

    Unlikely to get canceled. Unless Citibank has violated the terms of the contract, the government does not have legal recourse to cancel. The only possibility that could work here is if the contract runs on options. I.e. one year with multiple one year extension options.

  19. avatar B-Rad says:

    Can you say Virtue Signaling.

  20. avatar Richard says:

    I closed my credit card account with Citi and waited on hold to tell them why. Kudos to Representative Rakita for what he is doing, too!

  21. avatar joe says:

    Hit Bank of America also, going to cancel my account with them . Tired of these banks disrespect for their customers and second amendment rights

    1. avatar don says:

      I did that over a year ago when they participated in Obama’s “Operation Choke Point”.

  22. avatar RMS1911 says:

    Just charge Citibank employees with subversion and Sedition.
    Shut it down then reopen it and heavily regulate it.

  23. avatar don says:

    I have started to make all my guns and accessories purchases with the Citibank card. They may be making money from my purchases but they also have to reimburse the gun businesses that they have targeted for my purchases. I sent a donation to the NRA and I made purchases at Cabela’s with my Citibank card.

  24. avatar TruthBTold says:

    I cancelled my Citi accounts when the news broke. I asked the CS person to share why I was terminating the longstanding relationship and that I expect my bank to focus on financial matters not social policy or constitutional issues.

  25. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    I doubt this will go anywhere. I’ll write to those involved, but I’m not holding my breath

  26. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/replace-anti-civil-rights-citigroupcitibank-provider-official-credit-cards-united-states-government

    Is anyone surprised? This is a *MUST READ* article if you’re not into Citibank or Obama. It means things are a lot more logical that they’d continue Operation Choke Point on their own.

  27. avatar Canonf1 says:

    Looks like the virtue signalling by Delta Air Lines is still alive even after they lost the Georgia fuel tax break due to dropping the NRA discount. Delta went ahead and provided three free charter flights for people flying from the Parkland area up to Washington DC for the “March for Our Lives” demonstration on March 24th.
    Internally they promoted this as “helping the communities they serve” and not a statement on gun rights. Delta claimed it was equivalent to providing assistance to communities impacted by natural disasters.

  28. avatar 7.62x54r says:

    I have a BoA card that gets paid off every month. How can I cost them money without using the card? Should I ask for paper statements? What card is recommended for us POTG?

    1. avatar don says:

      I make them send me a paper statement. Although I view it online, my PC is old and not reliable, at least that what I tell them.

  29. avatar Michael says:

    Find out what other entities tittybank has invested interest in and deal with them too.

  30. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    As I recall, the GOP was all for defending contractors that discriminate against LGBT individuals.

  31. avatar johny-rockem says:

    So, if we are all going to bash Citi-Corp and Bank of America for denying people their 2A rights, how come nobody is in court? If this is illigel where are the court cases? As far as I see it this restriction by banks against a legal activity and business is negatively affecting interstate commerce. Influencing commerce is strictly a state and federal right. Not the right given to a publicly traded banks/firms traded on the NYSE.
    And since I’m on the soap box for 2A rights. Can somebody tell Bud’s Guns to allow purchases and shipments to FFLs in Cook county. Bud’s Guns, everybody’s favorite gun purchase site, is stepping on 2A rights, too. They reversed a legal purchase stating they don’t ship to Cook county FFLs. So, I went to a sports store in Cook county and bought the same gun, same magazine size, legally. WTH Buds? Why are you denying my 2A rights?!?!? Hipocrites!!

  32. avatar W says:

    Unpossible!
    You know, the prior iteration of TTAG insisted on the narrative of GOP as sellouts (NRA too). It’s refreshing to see this iteration run news and not merely narratives.

  33. avatar John says:

    Citi is the card of choice (and you can use no other) of Costco. Write Costco and ask them why they think it is logical to support Citi when they ban certain transactions which are legal. Tell them you may have to drop your Costco membership if Citi does not reconsider.

  34. avatar C R says:

    I am glad to see that some are recognizing what I have been saying for some time, gun control is historically and remains racist. Nice to see that some government figures recall their oath to defend the Constitution, all of it.

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