Alexandria, VA – Media reports indicate that the Senate may soon vote on a bipartisan amendment delaying implementation of Dodd-Frank’s Durbin Amendment, which puts draconian price controls on the interchange fees that banks and credit unions may charge retailers to process debit card transactions. Members of Congress and their staffs should note that the 60 Plus Association is scoring any measure to delay the Durbin Amendment, whether introduced as a stand-alone measure or as an amendment to another bill, as a Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Key Vote. To protect seniors’ interests, members of Congress should vote in favor of any such measure delaying the Durbin price controls.
60 Plus is alarmed that the fee caps will shift the cost of debit card processing to consumers, and seniors will lose services such as free checking and debit card rewards that are frequently redeemed as airline miles used for trips to visit grandchildren. As 60 Plus Chairman James Martin has previously stated, “The Durbin Amendment calls for unprecedented price controls that not only fail to provide any real benefits for seniors and consumers, but also cause real consumer harms. In addition, these price controls harm the community financial institutions that so many seniors rely upon for banking. Seniors on a fixed budget cannot afford the plethora of new fees that these institutions will now be forced to charge, and may lose access to valuable banking services. That is why we are scoring any vote to delay the implementation of this destructive mandate and require a study of the impact on consumers as vital to the interests of seniors.”
60 Plus is even more alarmed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s recent statement to the Senate Banking Committee that the Durbin Amendment “could result in some smaller banks being less profitable or even failing.” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-12/bernanke-says-lawmakers-should-be-concerned-about-swipe-rules.html)
Martin was a signatory to a letter to Congress (https://www.60plus.org/free-market-groups-support-halting-dodd-frank-price-controls/) calling for a delay of the Durbin price controls that was signed by 33 Center-Right leaders, including representatives of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Americans for Tax Reform and the Christian Coalition of America.
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