Swipe Fee Reform Attack Continues

This week legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate that would delay debit card swipe fee reform. S. 575 and H.R. 1081 were introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), respectively. The stated goal of the legislation is to delay the Federal Reserve’s rulemaking process and to study more about swipe fees, NACS reported.

Both bills elevate big bank profits over the health of the economy and efficiency of the payments system and ignore current problems.

Summary:

• Neither bill seeks to study what is best for the economy or the payments system as a whole.

•  Neither bill seeks information about whether the Fed’s rule will improve transparency and competition for debit swipe fees.

•  Neither bill seeks any information on the 95,000 jobs per year that would be created through reduced interchange.

•  Both bills ignore the many studies that have already been done, which have found that consumers pay swipe fees today through increased prices, and low-income consumers pay more to subsidize high-income consumers.

• Both bills ignore that consumers will pay $1 billion more per month than they should for the entire time that Fed’s rule is delayed.

• Both bills ignore the facts about fees hurting businesses, including that card fees are the second-highest operating cost for most merchants and that card fees are the fastest-growing business expense for U.S. merchants.

Below is a list of co-sponsors to the bills. Members of Congress are requesting to hear from you. Each letter, e-mail and phone call makes a huge difference, and face-to-face meetings have a strong impact.  “There is no substitute for (a retailer) coming in my office and saying, ‘hey, this is costing me $40 billion dollars, it’s the second biggest expense, more than we pay in rent.’ That is powerful,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) told CSD in an interview with NACS and the industry trade press earlier this week.

Go to nacsonline.com/swipefeesletter and do your part today. Spread the word and flood your members’ offices with our message: “Do not delay swipe fee reform. Vote no on S. 575 and H.R. 1081.”

Cosponsors of S. 575 include:

Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ)

Sen. Tom Carper (DE)

Sen. Chris Coons (DE)

Sen. Pat Roberts (KS)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO)

Sen. Ben Nelson (NE)

Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)

Sen. John Thune (SD)

Sen. Bob Corker (TN)

Sen. Mike Lee (UT)

Cosponsors of H.R. 1081 include:

Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-6)

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6)

Rep. Dan Burton (IN-5)

Rep. Quico Canseco (TX-23)

Rep. John Carney (DE)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3)

Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)

Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-18)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-5)

Rep. Wally Herger (CA-2)

Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-3)

Rep. Dale Kildee (MI-5)

Rep. Larry Kissell (NC-8)

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24)

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)

Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-4)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY-6)

Rep. Gary Miller (CA-42)

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

Rep. Bill Owens (NY-23)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)

Rep. Gary Peters (MI-9)

Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2)

Rep. James Renacci (OH-16)

Rep. Ed Royce (CA-40)

Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32)

Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-13)

Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-3)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20)

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-6)

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