The issue of regulating interchange fees-a top concern of credit unions and banks-will be one of the topics lawmakers have to deal with when the House-Senate conference committee begins meeting today to reconcile the differences between the versions of the financial reform bill passed by both chambers.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on C-SPAN.
Credit unions have been flooding Washington with in-person visits, phone calls, emails and faxes ever since the Senate included the interchange amendment in its version of the legislation.
The top lobbyists for CUNA and NAFCU said it is still an uphill battle on the interchange amendment, which gives the Federal Reserve the power to set fees, but they have made progress.
CUNA Senior Vice President John Magill said given the strength of the lobbying on both sides of the interchange issue, it is hard to predict the outcome but he senses that the message of credit unions is resonating on Capitol Hill.
NAFCU Executive Vice President Dan Berger said that lawmakers have "been responsive when we have made our case. They realize that a change such as this needs to be thought out carefully and not inserted at the last minute."
Yesterday, the House named the following members to the conference committee: House
Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) The panel's ranking Republican Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and : Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas),Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Shelly More Capito (R-W.Va.), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Luis Gutierrez, (D-Ill.), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.),Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y), Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Mel Watt (D-N.C.).
Previously, the Senate named the following members to the panel: Senate Banking Committee members on the conference committee are: Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.); Ranking Republican Richard Shelby (R-Ala.); Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.); Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.); Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.); Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho); and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).
Senate Agriculture Committee members on the panel are: Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.); Ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.); Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.); and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).