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Interchange Fees May Come to a Head in Lame-Duck Congress

Authored By: Lewis Wood on 11/4/2022

Source: American Banker

The Credit Card Competition Act, a bill that aims to reduce the largest payment networks' leverage on interchange fees, could get new life after the midterm elections come to a close. 

The legislation, spearheaded by Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., would require large banks to allow credit card transactions to occur on at least two unaffiliated networks. One of them would have to be a smaller network, rather than Visa or Mastercard. The House has also introduced companion legislation. 

The bill was originally introduced in July, but its proponents' hopes to pass it into law have since been tied to the National Defense Authorization Act, which lawmakers plan to take up in the lame-duck session after the lawmakers return to Washington following the 2022 midterm elections. That makes the bill one of the only items of interest for banks during the lame-duck session. 

While an aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is helmed by Durbin, cautioned that it's still unclear whether the NDAA will allow the amendment to be attached, they expect to push to have the legislation included in either the NDAA or a funding bill before the new Congress is sworn in. The aide said that the number of amendments that will be attached to must-pass pieces of legislation can vary widely. 

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