Thanks to the credit union lobby, Michigan lawmakers look to be first in the nation to act next week on a non-binding resolution seeking to halt or delay the Federal Reserve's debit interchange rules.
CUNA described it as a "novel" approach in the stepped up campaign by the nation's CU and banking lobbies to scrap the Fed rules under Dodd-Frank, and the Michigan Credit Union League said Friday it is heartened by swift House and Senate action on the resolution, which is likely to pass on Tuesday.
"It is gratifying to see how easily this resolution was adopted by the full House and now a Senate committee demonstrating how lawmakers are eager to show their opposition to excessive regulation," said David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League, which has been spearheading the interchange drive in the state legislature.
House Resolution 21, as it is marked, decries the financial harm to consumers if the rules are implemented and asks the Congressional delegation to "revisit this issue" by amending Dodd-Frank and exempting CUs under $10 billion.
"In our legislature," Adams said, "we have a new slate of leaders hungry for issues like this to provide regulatory relief" to the business and financial community.
Adams said Resolution 21, which has won wide bipartisan support, also has the backing of Michigan bankers "and Visa and Mastercard associations as well."
The general attitude among this new breed of GOP lawmakers, Adams said, is that they agree with the CU view that the Fed rules "can strangle access to capital."
The full Michigan Senate is expected to act on the resolution Tuesday. "We think it has a good chance of passing," Adams said.
In a separate development, a spokesman for CUNA said the trade group has now generated more than 4,200 comment letters directed to the Fed "though that does not count messages that may have been sent by individual credit unions or through the leagues." CUNA is calling its national blitz "Operation Comment" with the Michigan League one of its active participants.
The Fed, which began taking comments in December, said the comment period will end Feb. 22. Fed officials during their December meeting said that the interchange provisions, if approved, would likely not take effect until after April.