NAFCU refutes merchants on Durbin amendment, urges repeal

NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler, noting the devastating impact debit interchange price controls have had on credit unions, yesterday refuted claims made by hundreds of merchant trade group members on the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin amendment.

“Merchants are continuing to misrepresent the effects of the Durbin amendment, hoping to increase their windfall from price controls even more,” Thaler wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Thaler, citing a Federal Reserve estimate, said merchants have seen $36 billion in profits as a result of this amendment, with little benefit to consumers. “Quite simply, the Durbin amendment is not doing what proponents said it would,” Thaler wrote. “It is time for its repeal.”

A provision to repeal the amendment is included in the “Financial CHOICE Act” (H.R. 5983) and is strongly supported by NAFCU. H.R. 5983, introduced by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, was approved by the committee in September. The House could take up the bill during the current lame-duck session.

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