Last night, Wednesday, June 30, the House voted on the financial bill package, passing it by a vote of 237-192, with the swipe fee amendment intact, NACS reported.
The bill was not without changes though. Earlier this week the Conference committee working on the financial services overhaul met again to alter aspects of the bill causing some Senators to declare “no” votes.
The altered bill got rid of two key provisions that would have hurt the bill’s final passage. One was a provision that would end the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and the other a stipulation know as the bank tax that would “boost the minimum premiums that large banks have to pay into the FDIC’s insurance fund to be able to comply with pay/go budget rules,” according to Congress Daily.
Even with these changes however, several Senators still are opposed to or undecided about the bill. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he is a definite no vote, but Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is planning to vote yes. Meanwhile, four other Senators have not officially declared their position: Senators Scott Brown (R-MA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). As of today that leaves the Senate with 56 assured yes votes, while they require 60 to send the bill to the President.
President Obama had hoped to have the bill on his desk before July 4, but the Senate has postponed its legislative schedule to honor the late Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), who died Monday.
NACS continues to urge retailers to contact their Senators and ask them to vote yes for the bill because it includes relief from swipe fees for both retailers and consumers.
For more background on the Durbin Amendment visit