Memo Sounds Alarm Over Massive ‘Unconstitutional’ Database Of Americans’ Info Pushed By Biden Admin

Advancing American Freedom, a conservative group founded by former Vice President Mike Pence, is sounding the alarm about a Biden administration effort to collect Americans’ private financial information, according to a memo obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012 authorized a program to make it easier for financial regulators to track transactions in U.S. markets by creating a “consolidated audit trail,” or CAT. This would require brokerages and exchanges to collect and report certain financial information to regulators and other financial organizations. Under the Biden administration, the SEC approved a new funding model for CAT in September 2023.

The AAF memo warned that the CAT program was effectively an “Orwellian” government database of Americans’ personal information, and urged lawmakers to back a bill that would prevent the SEC from forcing financial institutions to hand over Americans’ information. The bill, known as H.R. 4551 or the Protecting Investors’ Personally Identifiable Information Act, was introduced by Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia.

“We have witnessed abuses by other government agencies, including the IRS releasing private financial information,” AAF Chairman Marc Short told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This unconstitutional and reckless regulatory overreach must be stopped.”

The memo notes that in March 2020, former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued an order to limit the collection of personal information.

“I believe the CAT’s regulatory objectives can be achieved without collection of the most sensitive pieces of retail investor information,” Clayton said in a statement. “It is important to minimize the impact of any potential data breaches, while also evaluating the need for cybersecurity improvements to the CAT.”

The House Appropriations Committee’s financial services spending bill would also prohibit the SEC from collecting personal information pertaining to CAT.

The bill also cuts SEC funding by $589 million below their requested 2025 fiscal budget and $144.3 million below their current 2024 fiscal budget.

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