New, shorter delay to interchange limits introduced

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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 DurbinGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Pentagon watchdog declines to investigate hold on Ukraine aid 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 Ruthven HaganDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66 MORE (D-N.C.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Liz Cheney applauds Trump for pulling out of Paris climate agreement MORE (D-Del.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Nearing finish line, fight for cannabis banking bill shifts to the Senate MORE (R-Idaho), Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial MORE (R-Mo.) Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators introduce bipartisan bill restricting police use of facial recognition tech Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Bill Gates visits Capitol to discuss climate change with new Senate caucus MORE (D-Del.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa 2020 Democrats demand action on guns after Santa Clarita shooting Biden, Buttigieg condemn rocket attacks on Israel MORE (D-Colo.). Bennet, Crapo and Hagan all originally voted for the Durbin amendment.

Bernie Becker contributed to this report.