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The retail industry expressed satisfaction that the Tester-Corker amendment, which called for the delay of swipe fee reform for a minimum of six months for further study, failed to garner the necessary votes today in the U.S. Senate. Although the vote was 54 to 45 in favor of passage, 60 votes were necessary for adoption.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the primary sponsor of the current law, argued that the amendment would have required the law as it now stands to be rewritten in effect to be a bailout for credit card companies and big banks.
“FMI applauds the 45 senators who voted to support their neighborhood grocery stores and their customers today,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization. “There is no doubt in my mind that customers will see savings returned to their pockets once this rule is finalized.”
Sarasin added: “The ball is now in the Federal Reserve’s court to publish a final rule and move toward the required July 21 implementation deadline.”
“Independent grocers, small business and consumers won another important victory today when the Senate rejected the … amendment,” noted Peter Larkin, president and CEO of the Arlington-based National Grocers Association said. “Sen. Durbin and the other senators that supported Main Street grocers and other merchants deserve our thanks for their leadership and commitment to swipe fee reforms.”
The bipasrtisan amendment, introduced by Sens. JonTester (D-Mont.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), was described by supporters as a "compromise" to the current Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011, which includes swipe fee reforms due to take effect next month.