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House committee may vote on interchange fees next week
WASHINGTON (6/17/08)—The House Judiciary Committee may vote as early as next week on a bill that would allow government intervention in setting interchange rates and fees, legislation that is strongly opposed by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The legislation, known as the Credit Card Fair Fee Act (H.R. 5546), has a companion bill (S. 3086) of the same name pending action in the Senate. Additionally, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) last week introduced a bill to require credit card companies to disclose their interchange rates, terms, and conditions to consumers and businesses. CUNA will continue to work closely with all members of the Electronic Payments Coalition to oppose legislation that would regulate interchange fees, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs, Ryan Donovan, said Monday. The Credit Card Fair Fee legislation would set up a three-member panel of lawyers appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle fee disputes between merchants and card providers. Welch’s bill stops short of that requirement, but would empower the FTC to review interchange rates and rules and prohibit practices it determines violate consumer protection of anti-competition laws.


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