14 May 2010

He Voted for You: Debit Card Fees

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., voted for an amendment to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 meant to "force credit card companies to reduce fees for debit card transactions and permit merchants to offer customer discounts based on their payment method," The Associated Press reports.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd did not vote in the 64-33 roll call that adopted the amendment.

The measure's summary title says it aims "to ensure that the fees that small businesses and other entities are charged for accepting debit cards are reasonable and proportional to the costs incurred, and to limit payment card networks from imposing anti-competitive restrictions on small businesses and other entities that accept payment cards."

AP reports that "the vote was a major defeat for banks, which lobbied hard against it. But the measure attracted heavy bipartisan support and surpassed a 60-vote threshold for passage."

The article also notes that the House-passed version of the bill "does not contain the debit card provision."

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