New, shorter delay to interchange limits introduced

ADVERTISEMENT
The latest attempt at an amendment marks the latest round in one of the most bruising lobbying battles on Capitol Hill over the so-called Durbin amendment. With billions in potential revenue at stake, retailers and banks have been engaged in a months-long battle over the provision, backed primarily by Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats turn on Al Franken Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign Democratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday MORE (D-Ill.).

It also comes as the July 21 deadline for the limits to take effect draws close.

Under the new amendment, if the Federal Reserve -- which is required to write rules implementing the new limits -- and another financial regulator determine the provision fail to account for all costs, adversely affect debit card users, or cannot exempt small banks, then the Fed would be required to rewrite the rules over a six month period.

If regulators do not come to those conclusions, the Fed is free to move forward with its currently proposed rules -- which would slash the fees banks can charge retailers for using debit cards from the current industry average of 44 cents to seven to 12 cents per transaction.

In addition, the amendment would require regulators to revist the small bank exemption two years later to make sure it is still working properly, and report those findings to Congress.

Retailers immediately launched into strong opposition to the amendment as it was being rolled out on the Senate floor, calling it a handout to banks.

"While proponents try to cast this amendment as a 'compromise,' it is just the opposite," said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association. "The Tester/Corker Amendment is a remarkable giveaway to big banks and credit card companies at the expense of merchants and consumers, pure and simple. "

Signing on to the Tester-Corker amendment were Sens. Kay HaganKay HaganPolitics is purple in North Carolina Democrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 North Carolina will be a big battleground state in 2020 MORE (D-N.C.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Overnight Cybersecurity: Mueller probe cost .7M in early months | Senate confirms Homeland Security nominee | Consumer agency limits data collection | Arrest in Andromeda botnet investigation Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (D-Del.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Regulation: Feds push to clarify regs on bump stocks | Interior wants Trump to shrink two more monuments | Navajo Nation sues over monument rollback | FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Senate panel approves bill easing Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (R-Idaho), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntDems push for more money for opioid fight Trump asked Senate Republicans to end Russia election interference investigation: report An overlooked solution to the opioid epidemic MORE (R-Mo.) Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate ethics panel wants details on sexual harassment allegations American innovation depends on strengthening patents Tax reform and innovation – good news and a cloud MORE (D-Del.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Schumer downplays shutdown chances over DACA fight MORE (D-Colo.). Bennet, Crapo and Hagan all originally voted for the Durbin amendment.

Bernie Becker contributed to this report.