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NEW Amended interchange delay bill introduced
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 4:00 P.M. ET, 6/7/11)--Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have introduced a revised version of their debit interchange fee cap implementation delay legislation. The revised legislation, which is being offered as an amendment to a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA), would shorten the implementation delay to a maximum of one year. The EDA reauthorization bill was still being discussed on the Senate floor at press time. The Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would be given six months to determine whether or not the Fed’s current proposal accounts for all fixed and incremental costs to financial institutions, whether the proposed debit interchange cap would adversely impact consumers, and if a small issuer exemption would work as planned. The Fed would then be given six months to rework the interchange rules if the Fed and one of these other regulators determine that the rule needs revision. The current rules would be implemented as planned if no issues are detected by the study. The Fed would be required to review its interchange regulations within two years of their implementation. The Credit Union National Association followed up on the release of the legislation by urging Senators to support the proposed delay, calling the measure a “common sense” approach to the issues surrounding the interchange cap. The amended legislation has bipartisan support, with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who voted in favor of the Durbin amendment, among its cosponsors. It is not expected that a vote on the revised interchange delay amendment will take place today.


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