Rep. Ross Says Efforts Underway to Keep Debit Card Swipe Fee Limits

A group of House lawmakers is considering taking steps aimed at preserving debit card swipe fee limits that are slated for removal under the House GOP’s plan to overhaul the Dodd-Frank Act, according to Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.).

Ross, who voted in favor of the Dodd-Frank replacement bill during a House Financial Services Committee markup on Thursday, said in an interview that he’s working with other lawmakers to strike language from the legislation — H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act — that would repeal the so-called Durbin amendment.

“We’re talking about it with some others,” said Ross, who declined to name the other lawmakers. “We’re kind of taking the temperature of the other members right now.”

Legislative bids to keep the Dodd-Frank provision, named for its chief sponsor, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), are likely to have populist appeal among some lawmakers as the bill advances to a House floor vote. Ross did not say whether he would offer an amendment for consideration on the House floor.

Supporters contend that the limits help keep down costs for consumers, whereas the banking industry dismisses the caps as a failed price control experiment. Bankers are in a lobbying war against retailers, who want the debit card swipe fee limits to stay in place.

Despite voting in favor of the legislation at Thursday’s markup, Ross last week was the only Republican member of the panel to say he’s concerned about the measure’s repeal of the Durbin amendment.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine, who voted for the bill on Thursday and was the only Republican to vote against a similar Dodd-Frank repeal measure in committee last year, did not respond to reporters’ questions after the markup about whether he’s involved in the discussions with Ross.

When asked about efforts to retain the Durbin amendment, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), another Financial Services member, said in a brief interview that he is “consulting” with colleagues on a possible change to the bill, but otherwise said he wasn’t prepared to speak further about the issue.

Democratic Reps. William Lacy Clay (Mo.), John Delaney (Md.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) and Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) — all members of the House Financial Services Committee — said in interviews that they don’t have any plans to offer amendments to the bill on the House floor.

Tara Jeffries contributed.


Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The Trump administration released its fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, which calls for $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. The plan takes aim at popular farm programs and student aid, and relies on clearing two major legislative hurdles – savings from the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and projected economic growth from overhauling the U.S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.

Finance Brief: Pence’s Tax Lobbying on Hill Rankles Republican Study Committee Members

Vice President Mike Pence urged House Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (N.C.) to poll the group’s members on whether they’d support the White House tax outline over the House GOP blueprint, a move that spurred criticism from members. Some RSC members oppose the idea of breaking from the House leadership’s tax plan, which differs in key ways from President Donald Trump’s proposal.

Washington Brief: Montana GOP Candidate in Today’s Special Election Charged With Assaulting Journalist

Greg Gianforte, the GOP candidate in a special House election in Montana, was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly assaulting a journalist who was asking him about the recent Congressional Budget Office estimate of the American Health Care Act. Gianforte faces Democrat Rob Quist in today’s election to fill the seat left vacant by Ryan Zinke, who now serves as head of the Interior Department.

Finance Brief: Intra-Party Debate Over Swipe Fees Intensifies

An intra-party dispute over a proposed repeal of debit card swipe-fee limits may delay a House vote on the the Dodd-Frank replacement bill sponsored by Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who urged colleagues to support the measure during a conference meeting Tuesday. GOP Reps. David Young (Iowa) and Dennis Ross (Fla.) want the repeal language removed from the bill.

Load More