Tester Introduces Interchange Bill

Credit Union Times

by Claude R. Marx

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced legislation today calling for a two-year delay in the implementation of the Federal Reserve’s rule on debit interchange and a study of the issue.

The bill would delay the implementation of the Fed Rule, which has been proposed and must be finalized by April. When Congress passed the financial overhaul bill last year it included an amendment by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to give the Fed the power to regulate debit interchange fees.

“The stakes are too high to move forward with this rule without a closer look at the impact on consumers, credit unions, community banks and the small businesses and the jobs they sustain,” Tester said in a statement.

Tester said on Bloomberg Television this morning that there will be seven original sponsors and he is convinced that they can get to the 60 votes they need to break a likely filibuster.

The co-sponsors are Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.).

A companion bill will be introduced in the House. According to a report on Bloomberg, it would delay the implementation by one year and call for a joint study by the Fed, the NCUA, the FDIC and the Comptroller of the Currency.