Senator Says He Has Enough Votes To Delay Debit Rules

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WASHINGTON – Montana Sen. Jon Tester on Wednesday said he believes he has enough votes to approve his bill to delay proposed debit interchange rules for as long as two years and now is concentrating on the Senate’s arcane parliamentary procedures to get it passed.

Tester said he had tentative pledges from enough senators to exceed the 60 needed to stop a filibuster by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, original sponsor of the interchange provision. But Tester said it is unlikely his delay provision will get attached to a small business bill the Senate is expected to pass this week, leaving him to find another bill to which to attach it.

The Tester bill creates a standoff between the Montana Democrat and Durbin, the assistant Democratic leader in the Senate, who had vowed to fight efforts to delay the interchange rule.

The Tester bill would delay a rule being written by the Federal Reserve that would cap interchange fees on debit transactions at 12 cents, about two-thirds less than the current rate and costing credit unions and banks billions of dollars.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House, where leaders have said they will wait for the Senate to act before they move their bill.


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