Tester: ‘Our fight for rural America marches on’

Senator responds to Senate vote on bill ‘written by Main Street’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after the U.S. Senate today voted 54 to 45 on Tester’s bipartisan Debit Interchange Fee Reform Act–short of the 60 votes needed to accept the measure as an amendment to a larger bill.

The amendment, authored by Tester and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would protect consumers and small businesses in rural America by preventing consolidation of the financial industry and strengthening rural banks and credit unions.

“Despite earning a majority of votes, the Senate today missed an opportunity to stand up for consumers, small businesses and community banks in rural America.  I fought for this measure because it puts the brakes on consolidation in the financial industry which has hurt Montana.  And it helps keep small businesses and community banks from getting wiped out by powerful Big Box retailers.   I know that because I’ve actually done my homework on this issue, talking with Montanans across the state about what’s best for all of us, instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for the wind to blow.

“This measure earned broad support from both sides of the aisle because it was a bill written by Main Street rural America.  Despite falling short of 60 votes today, our fight for rural America marches on.  I’ll always remain on the side of rural America.”

Tester, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, was the only Senate Democrat to vote against both bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry.  He supported legislation to return accountability to Wall Street and also helped write the successful Credit Card Holders’ Bill of Rights.