Reply Letter From U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to Mitch Goldstone (President & CEO,, editor of

United States Senate

Dear Mr. Goldstone:

Thank you for writing to me regarding legislation that would postpone proposed reductions in interchange fees that credit card companies impose on debit card transactions.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

Last year, as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L.111-203), Congress enacted an amendment by Senator Richard Durbin requiring the Federal Reserve to set allowable levels for the interchange fees that would be “reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer.”  As directed by the Durbin Amendment, the Federal Reserve has issued a final rule reducing these fees to 21 cents per transaction, plus 0.05 percent of the transaction’s value, beginning October 1, 2011.

I am pleased that the Senate recently defeated legislation calling for a lengthy study of the Fed’s proposed rule.  I believe that this rule will enable small businesses and merchants to lower their costs and provide discounts for their customers, and that further study would needlessly delay an important reform.  Be assured that I support the Durbin Amendment and will continue to oppose efforts to repeal or undermine it.

Again, thank you for writing to me.  Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


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