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Senate must act first on debit card fees: Bachus

Mar 08 2011 Reuters

Republicans in the US House of Representatives will not try to stall or change a crackdown on debit card fees unless the Senate supports changing the law, House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus said on Monday. The debit card fee provision was added to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law by the Senate, and the Senate must act first and take "ownership" of the issue before the House acts, Bachus told the Institute of International Bankers conference. "We are saying to the Senate: 'Give us an indication on whether there is going to be action taken, '" he said. Banks and retailers are waging a furious lobbying fight over "interchange" fees, which merchants pay banks and credit-card networks every time a customer buys something with a debit card. The fee crackdown is required by the Dodd-Frank law. In December the Federal Reserve proposed capping interchange fees at roughly 12 cents per transaction -- a 75 percent drop. A cap at this level would cost

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