Retailers Running Ad Criticizing Lee for Co-Sponsoring Interchange Measure
Accusing him of supporting “crony capitalism,” a group of retailers have run advertisements against freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for being a backer of a measure that would delay the implementation of a Federal Reserve rule regulating interchange.
“Utahans are tired of politicians who say one thing and do another,” said the ad in the Salt Lake Tribune and other Utah newspapers. “Mike Lee campaigned against crony capitalism and Wall Street bailouts…Mike Lee co-sponsored a bill that would help big TARP banks protect their debit card swipe fee heist. Another big TARP bank bailout!”
The ad is sponsored by several retail groups, including the Utah Petroleum Marketers & Retailers Association.
Lee is one of 13 co-sponsors of legislation introduced last week by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that calls for a two-year delay in the implementation of the Fed’s interchange rule and requires a study of the issue by several key banking regulators including the Fed and the NCUA. A similar bill was introduced in the House but it calls for a one-year delay. It is sponsored by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and has 42 co-sponsors.
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.
According to the provisions of the financial overhaul passed by Congress last year, the final rule must be approved by April 21 and in effect by July 21.
To read the Senate bill, S. 575, or the House bill, H.R 1081, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov