"While the Durbin amendment is a well-meaning attempt to benefit merchants of all sizes ... it is becoming clearer that it may have unintended consumer impacts," the NEA wrote in its letter, which was sent to congressional leaders. "Further study is warranted to determine if the proposed federal controls on interchange fees for debit swipes ... will meaningfully benefit merchants and their consumers, or if such control will instead result in consumers paying higher prices for the banking services critical to their financial well-being."
Legislation was introduced earlier this month that would stop the Federal Reserve from finalizing rules that would drastically limit debit-card fees. Those rules are set to be finalized in April, but a bill introduced by Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (D-Mont.) would delay the rules for two years as the matter is studied. A similar bill introduced in the House would delay the rules for one year.
The NEA joins the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People as non-banking groups airing concerns about the Durbin amendment. The group similarly called for a review of the provision, saying it was concerned the new limits could adversely affect at-risk communities, including minority communities.