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Two House Republicans Vote to Kill Bill Preventing Bank Discrimination

February 25, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Two House Republicans voted against a bill to prevent banks from discriminating against vendors or customers for their political affiliations or values determined by a social credit score. HB2656 failed 28-31; the bill sponsor, State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) voted against the bill alongside two of his Republican colleagues with track records for voting against bills supporting Republican Party values: State Representative Joel John (R-Buckeye) and State Representative Michelle Udall (R-Mesa). Hoffman changed his vote in order to file a motion to reconsider the bill within 14 days’ time, which was approved. 

John’s primary argument for not supporting the bill concerned the fact that he doesn’t engage in politics outside of the legislature, and that he doesn’t know of any real examples of banks discriminating against individuals for their affiliations or values. In doing so, John criticized his cousin, who reportedly called John to urge him to support the bill. 

“I’ve asked the sponsor to give me real world examples of why this bill is needed, and I didn’t get that. I even got a call from my cousin, who doesn’t live in my district, telling me that this bill is needed and to pass it right now and I said ‘why is it a problem man? Help me understand,’” said John. “For those of us who happen to be in this chamber, but don’t live, eat, and breathe politics 24/7, when I’m not in this chamber I’m out in a remote area working on some irrigation project, but my cousin said this is going to negatively affect farmers. This is going to affect our community, and I said, ‘Oh wow. Would you please do me a favor and talk to some of those guys as to why this is a problem. That would really help me. So, I never did hear back.”

One Republican representative rebutted to John’s assertion that there weren’t any real-world examples of this discrimination occurring in Arizona. State Representative Jeff Weninger (R-Chandler) relayed how multiple gun vendors statewide informed him that banks and financial services like Paypal won’t facilitate credit card transactions for items like guns due to their policies. 

“In my points, I’m not going to throw my cousin under the bus like somebody just did a minute ago,” said Weninger. “[Banking and other financial transaction discrimination] is something that is gaining steam and everywhere I go and talk to people, more and more people are knowing about it. But pretty soon it could be too late and have already run us over as a state.” 

Hoffman explained that his bill was prompted by the rise of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG): an enforcement method for authoritarianism advocated heavily by powerful globalist organizations like the World Economic Forum (WEF). The ESG concept is a part of a movement called “The Great Reset:” a goal to instill “stakeholder capitalism,” aka corporatism, a fascist rule globally. Hoffman explained that the ESG factor worked as a social credit score.

“It is an inside-outside strategy designed to force companies and individuals to adopt a woke and oftentimes globalist agenda primarily embraced by those in the ruling class. They do this by assigning an ESG score or sometimes known as a ‘social impact criteria score,’” said Hoffman. 

Hoffman added that the legislation was a moral imperative, citing the Canadian government freezing protestors’ bank accounts and financial apps in order to end their Freedom Convoy.

“Think it couldn’t happen in America? Think again. The top five banks in the US — the very same banks that US taxpayers bailed out in 2009 to the tune of 30 trillion dollars — have all admitted to using ESG scores to make decisions about customers. This means that if they deem your small business isn’t green enough, woke enough, or compliant enough, they’ll lower your ESG score which could hurt or eliminate your ability to access banking services, revolving capital, financing, and much more,” said Hoffman. “ESG discrimination is a freight train barreling down the tracks at the American people and it’s effects will be devastating, which is why I’m fighting like hell to protect the people of Arizona and stop this disgusting, anti-American practice dead in its tracks.”

This isn’t the first issue in which John and Udall didn’t agree with their fellow Republicans. Earlier this month, John voted with Democrats attempting to kill a bill expanding parental rights. 

John and Udall are also part of the Republican trio that killed a bill to expand school choice last year. Instead, John supported a bill this session to require additional testing requirements to access school choice, backed by the other two trio members: Udall and Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear).

Last year, John voted against a bill to require disclosure of personal information on early ballot affidavits. He and Udall also voted alongside House Democrats to force a vote on a resolution allowing illegal immigrants who’ve resided in Arizona at least two years and graduated from an Arizona high school to receive in-state tuition. That measure will appear on the ballot this November. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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