The Senate's number two Democrat said today there will be at least three amendments to regulate interchange fees during that chamber's upcoming debate on regulatory restructuring and backers will frame them as a way to assist small businesses.
"I am hoping we will be able to get Republican support because this is a way to help small businesses, which is the way to get economic growth," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said in response to a question from Credit Union Times during a conference call with reporters.
Durbin said there will be amendments to: Mandate a lower interchange fee on debit card transactions; Guarantee that the interchange fee for the government is the lowest possible rate because the government is such a heavy user of credit cards; and Give retailers additional flexibility by letting them set a maximum or minimum limit for purchases with a credit card or other payment device and let merchants not accept certain cards, if they deem the processing fees to be too high.
Durbin also said he "hasn't made a decision," on whether to try to include an amendment that would allow bankruptcy judges to reset the terms of mortgages.
Lobbyists for CUNA and NAFCU have been strongly opposed to both measures and both have recently had grass roots efforts from their members to reiterate their members' views on these topics.
Durbin said he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hope to complete debate on the bill before the end of the month.