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house Bill H.R. 758

Should Banks Get Safe Harbor From Regulators When Law Enforcement Asks Them to Keep a Suspected Criminal’s Account Open?

Argument in favor

This bill would help stop crime by allowing financial institutions to more easily, and without repercussion, help law enforcement.

Thomas's Opinion
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03/10/2019
This should be amended to require a court order. This is not a they told me to do it. Only courts should have this authority.
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Sherry's Opinion
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03/11/2019
But only if the process is by court order and regulated by the courts.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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03/11/2019
House Bill H.R. 758 AKA Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019 I’m in support of and recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R.758 AKA Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019 which would help stop crime by allowing financial institutions to more easily, and without repercussion, help law enforcement. SneakyPete......... 👍🏻👍🏻HR758👍🏻👍🏻. 3*10*19............
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Argument opposed

Financial institutions shouldn’t keep an account open at the request of law enforcement if the customer is engaged in illegal activity.

Sylvia's Opinion
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03/10/2019
Who enforces the regulations if not law enforcement? If there is a court order to abide by the request from law enforcement, they would have no fear of “regulatory repercussions” as those who would bring charges/penalties would be “in the know” This opens the doors for heinous abuses by large banks. See HSBC.
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Doug's Opinion
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03/11/2019
I’m pretty sure this could be accomplished with a court order and that should be the only standard that such actions should be taken. Creating a law that allows for bypassing the court system should sound alarm bells.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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03/11/2019
Unnecessary. The banks can cooperate with LEO already. This is what court orders are for. Trying to bypass the courts is not something we want.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed March 11th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 404 Yea / 7 Nay
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 758?

This bill ― the Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act ― would provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that maintain a customer account at the request of a federal or state law enforcement agency. Currently, under the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering regulations, banks face strict rules for managing accounts so that they cannot facilitate money laundering, terrorism financing, drug running, and other illegal activities.

Impact

Financial institutions; and law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 758

When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO estimated that implementing it wouldn't have any effect on the federal budget, since it wouldn't affect the number of employees needed at the relevant federal agencies.

More Information

In-DepthRep. French Hill (R-AR) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to strengthen protections for financial institutions that are called upon by law enforcement for help during criminal investigations:

"More than ever, financial institutions have the potential to play a pivotal role in helping law enforcement bring criminals to justice. However, due to outdated regulations, banks that cooperate with law enforcement agencies  risk being penalized by regulators while assisting with an ongoing criminal investigation. As a former community banker, I have dealt with this conflict of wanting to help law enforcement agencies when receiving a ‘Keep Open Letter,’ while not being able to because of the need to comply with the requirements set forth by a regulator. [This bill] is a commonsense solution that allows financial institutions and law enforcement to better cooperate in order to prosecute bad actors wanting to use the American financial system for their criminal acts."

This bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), in the current session of Congress. Last Congress, it passed the House by a 379-4 vote with the support of three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican.


Media:

Summary by Lucas McConnell

(Photo Credit: Chalabala/iStock)

AKA

Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019

Official Title

Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019

    This should be amended to require a court order. This is not a they told me to do it. Only courts should have this authority.
    Like (106)
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    Who enforces the regulations if not law enforcement? If there is a court order to abide by the request from law enforcement, they would have no fear of “regulatory repercussions” as those who would bring charges/penalties would be “in the know” This opens the doors for heinous abuses by large banks. See HSBC.
    Like (41)
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    I’m pretty sure this could be accomplished with a court order and that should be the only standard that such actions should be taken. Creating a law that allows for bypassing the court system should sound alarm bells.
    Like (39)
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    Unnecessary. The banks can cooperate with LEO already. This is what court orders are for. Trying to bypass the courts is not something we want.
    Like (38)
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    Not without a court order should law enforcement be able to enforce a law. Also, bring back the Dodd-Frank Act in order to protect consumers from Senators like French Hill, the sponsor of this bill. Remember, he was a bank president in Arkansas before becoming a senator, therefore he is only looking out for himself.
    Like (20)
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    But only if the process is by court order and regulated by the courts.
    Like (19)
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    Amend to require a court order.
    Like (15)
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    House Bill H.R. 758 AKA Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019 I’m in support of and recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R.758 AKA Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2019 which would help stop crime by allowing financial institutions to more easily, and without repercussion, help law enforcement. SneakyPete......... 👍🏻👍🏻HR758👍🏻👍🏻. 3*10*19............
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    You should have to have a court order
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    Banks and law enforcement. Nowadays isn’t that an oxymoron?
    Like (9)
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    Just because a law enforcement agency tells a bank to keep an account open doesn’t mean it should. Any request like this should come with a court order in order for law enforcement to use the account as evidence.
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    Yes, provided they have a court order.
    Like (7)
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    Only if the request is accompanied by a court order.
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    No. This should require a court order not instructions from law enforcement.
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    Unnecessary and misleading bill. Banks should only comply with courts, not law enforcement.
    Like (5)
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    Just telling them to, would not be enough. A court order is needed. And then the $should be left there till court's apply for those funds to become government property
    Like (5)
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    Court order maybe, but not law enforcement. We have seen what the DOJ and FBI have recently been up to.
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    Corrupt Law Enforcement could do terrible things ..,,not totally sure about this. Right now I say vote NO.
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    Only by court order! Because law enforcement with out court orders think they can do as they please. Law enforcement is broken and should not have open access to banks and suspects without the evidence and court order to continue on their mission. Taking law away from the courts and giving the enforcers more power is a recipe for abuses and corruption.
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    This kind of power comes from a court order. If it that important a judge should be making the call and not the police at the direction of a DA
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