Sens. Jon Tester and Bob Corker will likely introduce legislation early next week that would mandate a two-year postponement of the implementation of the Federal Reserve’s proposed rule regulating interchange fees, sources told Credit Union Times today.
The measure would call for additional study of the issue. The Fed has issued a draft rule; a final rule must be approved by April 21 and in effect by July 21.
Tester (D-Mont.) has telegraphed his plans on the issue before, including during a speech at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference last week.
Tester and Corker (R-Tenn.) are members of the Senate Banking Committee.
The senators are lining up co-sponsors of the measure, which could be difficult to pass because it would require 60 votes to overcome a likely filibuster by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) who wrote the amendment to last year’s financial overhaul bill mandating the Federal Reserve rule.
“Senator Corker doesn’t believe the federal government should be telling private companies what they can charge for goods and services. In addition to that, the Durbin amendment was rushed through and not fully thought out, and the result is a piece of legislation that will have numerous unintended consequences. We’re working with others to determine the best approach to address this issue,’’ Corker’s spokeswoman Laura Herzog said in a statement.
According to the proposed rule, the allowable costs for interchange would be limited to no more than the issuer's allowable costs divided by the number of electronic debit transactions on which the issuer received or charged an interchange transaction fee in the calendar year. Or the issuer could receive debit interchange capped at 12 cents per transaction.