4/21/2015 11:58:00 AM

Washington Insights Conference gives members intimate access and a robust Q&A with the Missouri congressman.

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Luetkemeyer U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer.

Credit and collection industry professionals need to band together to accomplish goals at the legislative level, according to U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), in his speech at ACA International's Washington Insights Conference last week.

“Now is not a time to be divided,” Luetkemeyer said during his April 15 speech in Washington, D.C. “You need to be participating at the highest level [here in Washington.]”

The audience was anything but divided last week, as a record turnout at the event resulted in 150 visits with legislators on Capitol Hill.

During his talk and visits with ACA members, Luetkemeyer provided insight into the work of the House Financial Services Committee and his legislative goals. Luetkemeyer is one of the key members of Congress working to bring attention to Operation Choke Point and has reintroduced legislation to end it. ACA has avidly supported the legislation.

Operation Choke Point is a program in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Department of Justice reportedly intimidated financial institutions from offering financial services to certain licensed, legally operating industries, including debt collectors.

“This is [an] antithesis to us as Americans,” Luetkemeyer said. “It sets a dangerous precedent. Operation Choke Point is about taking people out of business. That is not right and not who we are as Americans.”

Luetkemeyer also said that it was time to rein in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“The CFPB is the most dangerous agency in Washington, beyond the controls of Congress,” Luetkemeyer said. “They are a rogue group out to punish business people. We have to push back.”

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