Senate’s Debit Cap Opponent Makes Final Pitch To Fed

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WASHINGTON – The leader in the effort to delay the cap on debit fees called on the Federal Reserve last week to include all costs available, including fraud, in setting a final cap, which is expected to issue its rule any day now.

Tennessee Sen. Robert Corker, who led the effort to delay the cap, pointed out to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that a majority (54) of Senate members share his views and even voted to delay the debit rule, but their effort failed to attract the necessary 60 vote super-majority under Senate rules.

“Failure to incorporate all costs available under the law will result in a loss of innovation on the part of banks and card networks and will put considerable additional pressure on America 's community banks, many of whom are already struggling under the weight of additional regulatory burdens,” said Corker in a June 15 letter to the Fed Chairman.

“Although it was not ultimately adopted," Corker said, “a majority of the Senate voted to expand the set of items that should be considered by the Federal Reserve in writing its final rule. I encourage you to take this vote seriously and to consider congressional intent as you craft your final regulations.”

The Tennessee Republican and Montana Democrat Jon Tester were chief sponsors of the bill, backed by credit unions and banks, which would have delayed the caps on debit cards for as long as two years while regulators and lawmakers studied its effect on consumers and small institutions.

 

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