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Sen. Ted Cruz. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Bank of America and Citigroup are facing blowback from Republican politicians after using their financial influence to support gun restrictions and discourage the spread of assault weapons.

Why it matters: The backlash shows how private-sector gun control measures can put the companies under just as much pressure as politicians who try to restrict guns through new laws.

The details: Citigroup imposed new gun control policies on its clients, like age restrictions and background checks, while Bank of America said it would stop lending money to clients who manufacture military-style assault weapons.

  • They joined a list of companies that adopted pro-gun control policies after the Parkland shooting.

What they're saying:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz harshly criticized the banks on Friday, saying Texas citizens "appear to have a stronger commitment to protecting our constitutional liberties than do your boardrooms," the Dallas Morning News reported.
  • Michael Piwowar, a Republican appointee to the Securities and Exchange Commission, lambasted Citigroup executives in a meeting. Bloomberg reports Piwowar insinuated the bank would "have trouble finding the votes" at the SEC to "ease regulations on derivatives and proprietary trading."
  • Sen. John Kennedy said in April, per Bloomberg, that he "planned to file a complain...against the two banks for their 'offensive' conduct.'"
  • Texas Reps. Lamar Smith and Louie Gohmert called for the cancellation of a $700 billion contract last month between Citigroup and the General Services Administration, the Dallas Morning News reports. "We don't have to reward companies with our business that are trying to take away Second Amendment Rights," Gohmert said.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

7 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.