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Washington
Democratic trio seek House interchange delay support
WASHINGTON (4/1/11)--Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and a pair of other legislators have urged their House colleagues to add their names to the list of representatives calling for a delay in interchange fee cap legislation. Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) joined Wasserman Schultz in co-signing the letter. The legislators called the Consumer Payment System Protection Act (H.R. 1081), a bill that would delay implementation by one year, “a reasonable response" for those that are concerned about the impact that interchange fees and the pending interchange fee cap will have on their constituents. That bill, introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), would also direct federal agencies to study the impact that interchange changes would have on credit unions and other card issuers, consumers, and merchants. The Thursday letter notes that Moore Capito’s legislation “doesn’t pick winners and losers” and “doesn’t overturn the rule.” Rather, the legislation promotes a brief year-long delay to enable legislators to address “questions about customer savings, consumer protection, and the rule’s effects on small businesses and low-income consumers.” “These are all issues that should have been considered before we passed the bill, but it is not too late to protect consumers,” the letter adds. The letter notes that the interchange legislation “was not considered in committee, no studies of its effects were performed, and no separate vote was held on the provision in the House." Moore Capito’s legislation had 59 co-sponsors as of late Thursday. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have introduced similar legislation in the Senate. That bill would delay implementation by two years, and would also order a study of the effects of interchange.


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