Durbin: Card swipe fee amendment is not "partisan"

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he believes support is building for a modified "interchange fee" amendment to Wall Street overhaul legislation.

Durbin faces an uphill battle to pass the amendment, however, with small banks and credit unions strongly opposed to the measure that would limit fees from merchants to debit card issuers. Durbin's amendment would direct the Federal Reserve to issue rules on debit card swipe fees that aims to ensure that the fees are "reasonable and proportional" to processing costs.

Durbin exempted banks and credit unions with $10 billion in assets or less.

"It wasn't introduced as a partisan amendment," Durbin said. "I brought this because it is a small business, retail amendment that I think is valid and just. I've had Republicans come up to me and say we're going to vote for it. And many Democrats who were against it say now with the $10 billion exemption for banks we'll be for it. Am I going to get every Democratic vote? Probably not."

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) all strongly oppose the amendment.

Many merchant and retail groups support reining in interchange fees.