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Interchange vote could happen by midweek
WASHINGTON (6/7/11)--A final vote on Senate legislation that would delay the implementation of a new debit interchange fee cap could happen as early as midweek, with a remote possibility the vote could occur today. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in March introduced S. 575, a bill that would delay implementation of the Federal Reserve’s rules to implement the interchange fee cap ordered by last year’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. The Tester-Corker bill would also require a study of the rules’ impact on consumers, credit unions and other financial institutions, and merchants. Similar delay legislation has been offered in the House, but House members have said that they would wait for the Senate to act first on the interchange issue, since that legislation was first offered in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday indicated that the interchange delay could be one of the first amendments offered to a bill the Senate is scheduled to take up today—a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. The Fed's proposed interchange regulations could limit debit card transaction fees to as little as seven to 12 cents per transaction. A proposed exemption for issuers with under $10 billion in assets is included in the proposal, but the Credit Union National Association, leagues and credit unions have been emphasizing that the exemption is flawed and will not work in practice. Members of the House of Representatives are in their home districts this week, but the full Congress is scheduled to be in session beginning on June 13. The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will discuss National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization. Members of the House of Representatives are in their home districts this week, but the full Congress is scheduled to be in session beginning on June 13.


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