WASHINGTON (4/6/11)—Rep. Barney Frank’s comments in support of a delay of the Federal Reserve’s debit card interchange fee rule are “extremely welcome and helpful,” said Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill, and their importance “cannot be overstated.” Frank, of Massachusetts, is the ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee as well as a key author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. On Tuesday, he announced his support of legislative action to postpone the deadline for the Federal Reserve to issue a rule on debit card interchange fees. In his statement of support Frank noted a recent announcement by the Fed that it would not be able to meet a statutory deadline of April 21 to propose a final rule. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Fed to meet that deadline to propose a rule to set a ceiling on what debit card issuers may charge retailers who use that payment system. “The Federal Reserve’s announcement that they cannot meet the deadline on interchange fees confirms my view that this is the only part of the financial reform bill that needs to be amended. For this reason, I support legislative action to postpone the deadline so that we can revisit it,” Frank said. He did not address a July 21 effective date that is also set by the law. The Credit Union National Association also supports a delay and has backed bills in the House and Senate. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's (R-W.V.) bill would delay interchange rate cap implementation by one year while the Fed studies interchange's impact on consumers, credit unions and merchants. That legislation has 72 cosponsors and is known as the Consumers Payment System Protection Act (H.R. 1081). Sen. John Tester's (D-S.D.) bill, the Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011 (S. 575), would order a similar study and would delay implementation by two years. It has 17 cosponsors.