WASHINGTON – Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter yesterday to Senate conferees for the Wall Street reform bill, also known as the financial reform bill, urging members to include his amendment that reduces interchange fees. Durbin’s amendment passed the Senate 64-33 on May 13 and provides swipe fee relief.
“My amendment would help reform a card industry that has been constructed by Visa and MasterCard to produce large benefits for the biggest banks at the expense of Main Street businesses and consumers,” Durbin wrote.
“The amendment has been carefully crafted to address anti-competitive elements in the interchange fee system while preserving the ability of small banks and credit unions to compete with big banks in issuing cards. This amendment clarifies what was already true: the Wall Street reform bill is good for small businesses and good for consumers. I urge you to retain this amendment in the conference report,” Durbin said.
In addition to the swipe fees appeal, Durbin also asked the Senate conferees to include in its conference report a “consumer financial watchdog” that would assist families and small businesses as they select mortgages, credit cards and other loans.
Also, check out a video of Rep. Peter Welch (I-VT) at a press conference on March 25, as a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers called on House negotiators to retain Durbin’s amendment that legislation cracking down on credit card swipe fees.
“Small businesses around the country are struggling to stay in business as they bear the brunt of the credit card industry’s out-of-control swipe fees. These cash register rip-offs prevent small businesses from growing and creating jobs, and consumers end up paying the price,” Welch said. “This practical, bipartisan proposal will bolster small businesses by cracking down on the worst abuses perpetuated by the credit card industry.”