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It was Wal-Mart vs. Wall Street today in the Senate, in the most expensive, heavily lobbied debate in years. And on this one, Wal-Mart (and, oddly, consumers) won, 54-45 (under the rule, the bill would have required 60 votes to pass).

The vote was on a bill authored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to delay a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that caps the amount that banks can charge merchants for processing debit card transactions, the so-called swipe fee. Dodd-Frank instructs the Federal Reserve to determine the cap, and it's proposed capping fees at 12 cents per transaction. Banks currently charge 44 cents per transaction, which nets them about $16 billion annually. It also costs the consumer about $230 annually in passed-on price increases.

The showdown pitted Dem against Dem on the floor.

[T]he Senate's chief proponent of lowering the swipe fees, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said that taxpayers had helped banks "in their darkest hour," a reference to the $700 billion financial industry bailout of 2008. He said banks showed their gratitude by showering huge bonuses on their executives.

"Honestly, are we going to stand here and say we can't protect small businesses across America struggling to survive?" said Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democratic leader.

Responding later, a leader of the drive to prevent the Fed from capping the fees also sought to appeal to everyday Americans, saying he was fighting for small community banks and credit unions, not the nation's biggest financial institutions.

"These small guys who had nothing to do with the financial crisis do not have that same flexibility the Wall Street banks have" to make up for lost debit card fees by finding revenue elsewhere, said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. "and these are the banks in Montana. These are the folks that I want to make sure have a fair shake."

Of course, the Wall Street guys benefit, too, which was the force of Durbin's argument against the Tester bill, because Tester didn't limit his bill to the small, community banks, which might have made his bill more popular back home, where "[t]hree-quarters of Montana voters support the swipe fee reform that Tester is trying to delay."

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Comment Preferences

  •  good grief... nothing makes sense anymore (7+ / 0-)

    up is down, down is up and teh stoopid blinds ever more
    brightly....  I am losing faith... the fuckers never seem to want to give up screwing us.....

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams -6.5 -6.75

    by Statusquomustgo on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:51:04 PM PDT

  •  A fair fight. (18+ / 0-)

    Senators bought by retail businesses like Wal-Mart vrs those owned by Banks.  Some senators were split right down the middle, trying to do the owrk of both their owners.  

    That the defeat indirectly benefits consumers is nice.

    When businesses fight banks, consumers soemtimes win. Hmmm.

    CitizenX: "If the republicans were in charge GM & Chrysler would be dead and Osama bin Laden would be alive."

    by TomP on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:51:14 PM PDT

    •  What's most notable (15+ / 0-)

      is the Fed was taking the side against the banks.  That should mess with some memes around here.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:55:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Caught that, did you? (10+ / 0-)

        There's an article on Think Progress on how Obama was convinced to pivot from jobs to deficit.

        Orzag wanted deficit focus, while Summers (yes, him) wanted jobs. And Orzag won.


        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:00:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Healthcare was about deficits in part. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ozsea1, Loge, sethtriggs, Sylv, Predictor

          In the end, the stimulus helped arrrest free fall, but it was not enough.  And the absolute worst thing is the deficit craze, for it takes more demand out of the economy when it needed it most.

          CitizenX: "If the republicans were in charge GM & Chrysler would be dead and Osama bin Laden would be alive."

          by TomP on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:06:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "jobs" and "deficit" aren't in opposition (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shrike, sancerre2001, Odysseus

          The deficit was necessary to get the economy going when it was contracting.  It's not as helpful when the economy is no longer contracting.  As long as the market doesn't think the deficits are sustainable, it won't fundamentally alter demand conditions.  Now, it would have been possible to run some more expansive deficits without the Bush tax cuts and the wars, but we've reached a point, I fear, where neither fiscal nor monetary stimulus is going to work.  (In normal situations, deficits don't really help the economy because they're offset by rising interest rates.)  So, even the Japan model doesn't work.  (Japan had a higher debt but a smaller percentage of it was held abroad, so its debt was essentially a substitute for taxaton.)  I'd favor moving towards a balanced budget with specific pro-employment tax credits or targeted infrastructure spending.  I can haz Goolzby's job?

          Taking the much-reviled deal on the 2-year tax cut extensions was putting jobs ahead of the deficit, but that generated a full-on blogospheric freak-out.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:18:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't tell badabing or swern about the Fed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NamelessGenXer, Southside

        siding with the little guys - their propaganda machine will need massive oil.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:22:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In bank "3 card Montey" (6+ / 0-)

      what Banks loose from the Debit fee reduction will be replaced with higher account fees for consumers. Walmart, Target, Safeway, Best Buy and Ikea are the real winners.

      Those with higher account balances will not see the fee increase, only those with smaller balances.

      Banks will only loose in the short term.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:18:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't wait to see which senators (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    were on the side of the banks.

    There should never be a tax benefit for companies that screw over American workers.

    by bear83 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:51:39 PM PDT

  •  Tester is becoming more and more (11+ / 0-)

    of a disappointment.

  •  I guess Tester forgot (14+ / 0-)

    that these impoverished Montana banks can get short term funding from the fed at negligible interest rates and park the money in higher-yielding longer-term treasuries.  Still not a big spread, but they're not going out of business this way.

    If they can't use the visa/mastercard duopoly to charge rents, maybe these Montana banks can try to make money by lending to small business start-ups, roll over lines of credit, or otherwise be helpful participants in the economy.  No, these banks aren't as powerful as Citi, JPM, or BoA, but in this case, they can free-ride on those banks' marketshare  through what is in some respects a price-fixing cartel.  

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:52:45 PM PDT

    •  Recc'd for "price-fixing cartel." (0+ / 0-)

      Explains pretty much all anyone needs to know about the Banksters and their ungodly profit levels.

      •  I was referring to Visa and Mastercard, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gordon20024, chrississippi

        specifically.  I'm not sure antitrust violations are what led to Bankers' profits.  (I hate the term "bankster.")  In fact, I'm sure they didn't, given how competitive the market is for CD's and so on.

        Visa/Mastercard is not the first and it won't be the last cooperative to raise significant antitrust concerns.  The fact credit card interchanges are classic "two-sided" markets means the antitrust issues are fairly complicated -- basically, significant advantages to economies of scale.  Thus, a cartel "in some respects" only.  Given the structure of the market, having a single payment entity is not presumptively anticompetitive.  The fact they charged 44 cents while the Fed is telling them to charge 12 certainly suggests some abuse of market share, though.  

        Ironically, it's the smaller banks that benefit the most from swipe fees, as Tester notes, as they, themselves, would have to pay more per swipe because they have fewer customers.  Without a Visa/Mastercard, they'd have to negotiate independently with most retailers, which would be impossible -- only the 3 or 4 largest banks could pull that off.  This illustrates how this market is so different from the market for deposits -- it's very easy for smaller banks to charge higher rates but in a networked market like swipe fees, the smaller players simply cannot compete on price.

        But I'll defer to the fed's reasoning that the reduced swipe fees are appropriate to curb the abuses of an otherwise legitimate pooling arrangement.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:08:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then it should be a regulated utility. (0+ / 0-)

          If every business wants it, and it's only rational for a few or a single market participant to provide it, then you have a prima facie case for serious regulation.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:11:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is (0+ / 0-)

            The whole point of the bill is the Federal Reserve, which oversees banks, imposed a cap on swipe fees.  That's the essence of utility regulation.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:58:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The bigger issue is "so what"? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duckhunter, sethtriggs, Odysseus

      On what basis should we have to pay so that someone else can stay in business, absent a strong strategic reason?  

      It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

      by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:57:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For as much as this was plutocrat vs. plutocrat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, MikePhoenix, jimreyn, Odysseus

    ...to me the merchants had the much stronger case, both generally and from a progressive perspective.  Banks operate as a cartel while retailers generally don't.  The banks' claim that merchants would merely pocket the savings rather than pass it along may accurately reflect what individual merchants want to do, but it doesn't reflect the reality of what they can do given the state of modern retailing.   This was a consumer (and merchant) subsidy to banks and I'm glad it's being toppled.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:56:32 PM PDT

    •  I don't really have a strong opinion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, Odysseus

      to be honest...

      I can see both sides -

      All I know is that from MY perspective - I love the points system my check card has... I'm aware that retailers are paying extra when I use it, but I literally pay for everything except rent via my card - and via the points system tied to it, I'm easily getting about ~$200 a year in straight up cash awards by using the check card rather than cash.

      For the first time in my life, I would say that I'm actually pleased with my personal banking experience.... direct deposit gets me to zero fee checking (and I've been on the same box of checks for 5 years now), doing all my banking online means I never get whacked with junk fees, and no minimum balance charges.   Add to that a points program that actually yields a couple hundred bucks a year - and well...

      It's not that I don't appreciate the merchant perspective -- it's just that, frankly, the best I can do for them is promise not to grumble (and I don't) when they decide to levy a nominal fee for paying via check card.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:58:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't doubt that there are consumer winners... (0+ / 0-)

        ...from the current way of doing business.  But that has to weighed against the huge premium banks get for the service provided vs. the cost of offering it, a premium that can only exist because of legal protection.  I'm not a free market fetishist but it seems odd to mess with a free market in defense of banks.

        It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

        by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:15:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Won't save consumers anything. (8+ / 0-)

    Banks of all sizes will make up for it by raising other fees.

    Wal-Mart wins. They get a guarantee of payment and have to pay next to nothing for the service.

    Even with a 44 cent charge, the plastic costs Wal-Mart less in overhead than it does for them to handle cash or checks.

    Too bad this has been advertised as banks versus consumers. Consumers are screwed either way.

    it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of Wis. Stats. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b) and 35.095(3)(b), and is therefore not in effect.

    by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:59:13 PM PDT

    •  That hardly seems possible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shrike, Pinko Elephant, Odysseus

      What I would suggest makes more sense is that different groups of consumers are screwed in different ways depending on how this plays out.

      Certainly a swipe-through charge of $1,000,000 per transaction would change things, as would forcing it to be zero.


      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:02:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep - I am with you AGAIN blue aardvark* (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pinko Elephant, blue aardvark

        Canada's debit swipe fee is ZERO.

        * = I will ruin your reputation.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:18:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What the rule says... (3+ / 0-)

        ...is that the fee can't be for more than the actual cost of the transaction, which they arbitrarily decided was 12 cents. It doesn't even take into account that the payment, once authorized by the bank, is guaranteed to the retailer, even if the customer is using a stolen or fraudulent card. That means the bank has to guarantee payment of $1.00 at Taco Bell and a charge of $1,000.00 at Wal-Mart for the same fee - 12 cents. It's ridiculous.

        Even if one could determine that one electronic transaction costs 12 cents, the idea that a financial institution has to provide that service at cost is ridiculous. Is Wal-Mart required to provide goods at cost?

        it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of Wis. Stats. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b) and 35.095(3)(b), and is therefore not in effect.

        by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:18:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That sorta cuts both ways though... (4+ / 0-)

          I had my check card stolen a couple years back - and in the space of literally just 8 hours, until I discovered it was gone the next morning, the thieves had managed to yank $1200 out of my account...

          Now - the law does protect consumers - I think the cap is that you can only be held responsible for up to $50 and in fact, Chase made me entirely whole again within 24 hours (in fact, they even double-refunded a foreign ATM--- the thieves had used a cash back option at a drug store -- fees.)

          My experience with the bank was a good one - the person who took my call immediately calmed me down and getting the money back in my account was painless.

          However - I asked several times if they wanted me to file a police report or somesuch (the check card was the only thing of value stolen).  

          They told me - point blank - they didn't care, up to me....

          Well, I filed one anyway and even gave the police a print-out of the transactions from online account, as well as all the info I had from Chase.... but nothing ever came from it.

          An investigator from Chase called me about a week later with some follow-up -- and I mentioned that I filed a police report, offering to fax or send him everything I had... but they just weren't interested.

          For me personally?  I was just pleased everything worked out for my account.

          But from the perspective of an uninterested observer?  It just seems like Chase should have cared a bit more than they appeared to care... once the money was back in my account - it became their money that was stolen, and while I was more than willing to assist in whatever way possible to help them catch the criminal that took their money -- they just seemed entirely uninterested...

          Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

          by zonk on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which suggests that their experience (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs

            is that they will spend more money than they will recover.


            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:08:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Chase didn't care... (0+ / 0-)

            because they then deducted the amount of the fraudulent charges from the merchant's account who accepted the card for payment.  That could be Wal-mart or mom-n-pop.  The party really hurt in this situation is the merchant whose transaction security was lacking, perhaps that's how it should be.

            Liberalism and Capitalism are not mutually exclusive. -5.0; -6.21

            by blueintheT on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:36:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  But don't they also charge a % of the transaction? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          So it's $0.12 + 2% or something?  They are paying by the size of the the transaction as well as the swipe fee.  What the swipe fee really affects is smaller transactions.

          I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

          by Futuristic Dreamer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:55:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do now... (3+ / 0-)

            ...but the new rules change that. Flat fee. The logic they use is that the dollar amount of the purchase shouldn't matter because the cost to perform the transaction is the same no matter the dollar amount.

            The flaw in their logic is that the retailers are guaranteed payment once the bank approves the transaction no matter the amount. They should pay more for higher dollar transactions because the bank is taking a bigger risk.

            Imagine a law that says car insurance companies can only charge customers 100.00 per year no matter the value of the car they are insuring. It makes no sense.

            The idea that it's "free money" for the banks is not accurate. Reducing the percentage to align with the actual risk might make some sense, but 12 cents per transaction is ludicrous, and it won't save consumers any money. The banks will pass on the costs to their customers.

            it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of Wis. Stats. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b) and 35.095(3)(b), and is therefore not in effect.

            by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:25:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The banks would have to force people to buy (0+ / 0-)

              insurance for their cards, instead of passing that cost on to retailers.  It's really a loss for consumers.

              I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

              by Futuristic Dreamer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:22:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It doesn't work that way (0+ / 0-)
      Banks of all sizes will make up for it by raising other fees.

      Then why haven't they done that already? Because they're swell guys?

    •  It's banks versus retailers (0+ / 0-)

      You're right, the consumer might not see a direct benefit or penalty from this rule.  The biggest effect might be that small businesses will be able to reduce their bankcard fees and therefore stay in business.  If you're in a town where small business owners are struggling just to stay open then every little bit will help.

      For Wal*Mart it will mean a bunch more profit dropping to the bottom line.  I don't expect them to reduce prices or increase service...they will pocket the savings just like I will in my own business (hardware store).  Honestly, small businesses have been footing the bill for these fees for years so any relief is welcome.

      "We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." Carl Sagan

      by John3 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:52:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lift up your chins, Kossacks, and hope (6+ / 0-)

    The plutocrats are no more a monolithic mass then we are. By pitting one group against another they can be beaten.


    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:59:23 PM PDT

    •  That's the thing about capitalism (0+ / 0-)

      It digs it's own grave.  That is exactly why it's doomed to fail in the longrun.  The idea of constant high economic growth is a fairy tale.  The system is unsustainable for many reasons.

  •  Tester screwed up. He had a case.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeighAnn, Pinko Elephant, tikkun

    and botched it by not limiting it to just small banks. His argument is actually sound....the little guys don't have the same revenue streams to cover a lot of the overhead associated with debit care services beyond the interchange fee. The big guys do.

    So he tried to pass off some bad public policy to favor Wall St. by hiding behind the very guy he was supposed to be protecting. Now the small banks are actually in a tighter spot because Tester couldn't turn his back on his corporate masters.

    On that topic, Dodd-Frank should consider the liquidity of the financial institution when imposing limits on its revenue streams such as this.

  •  Tester kept saying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, ranger995, tikkun, exreaganite

    that his bill was a compromise - in that he originally sought a delay of 2 years, and now it was 6 months of study and 6 months of implementation.

    Durbin kept saying it was not a compromise at all because no one from the banks would sit down with retailers to come up with a mutual agreement - that would have been a compromise.

    It was the loudest shouting match I'd ever heard in the senate.

    Many republicans actually joined with Durbin - I was really surprised - Enzi led them.

    And many Dems actually sided with Tester - among them: Schumer, Gillibrand, Hagan, Baucus - can't remember rest.

    Rand Paul sided with Tester ..... liberty ...

  •  Greedsters will be back (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun

    Hardly a resounding victory for the people. The Big Banks and Wall Street greedsters failed on a technicality to delay the accountability and regulation they have earned with outright criminal behavior. The bank thugs will simply come back next time, with a bigger wad of cash...
    http://www.sunstateactivist.org

  •  Will this include online services, Paypal? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer, Odysseus

    Their fees are ridiculously high for small charges.

    "A witty saying proves nothing.." Voltaire

    by irate on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:12:09 PM PDT

  •  It's nice to have a win every now and again. (0+ / 0-)

    "Somehow our slogan 'We’ll protect YOUR Medicare, but your kids are screwed' never really caught on."

    by BobSmith415 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:15:28 PM PDT

  •  Remember when banks made responsible loans and.... (4+ / 0-)

    earned revenue on the interest instead of fucking over their customers with an increasing number of exorbitant fees for supposed services like accessing and spending my fucking $$$. I recently presented a check at the bank it was drawn on and was told they charge a fee of $5.00 to cash checks for people who do not have accounts there.  I also want the bank to pay me for doing my banking at an  ATM or online rather than going to a teller.  

    I'll need some room for this...

    by duckhunter on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:23:09 PM PDT

    •  Banks don't loan any more... (0+ / 0-)

      Good luck getting any sort of loan from a major bank if you're a small business.  They want so much collateral, personal guarantees, and your first and second born before they will even consider loaning money.

      "We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." Carl Sagan

      by John3 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:58:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Remember when banks made responsible loans ... (0+ / 0-)

      and earned revenue on the interest instead of fucking over their customers"

      No.

  •  oddly, my Credit Union, (0+ / 0-)

    a large and well-established one, emailed its membership requesting they contact their Senators and urge passage of the Tester Amendment.  Odd to see CUs siding with the banks, but in this case, their interests coincided, as they also issue debit and credit cards.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:28:08 PM PDT

  •  Wal-Mart vs. Wall Street? (5+ / 0-)

    That's like watching two football teams you hate go at it.

    You hope they hurt each other significantly.

    "... the Professional Left, that is simultaneously totally irrelevant and ruining everything" (Glenn Greenwald)

    by ranger995 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:30:59 PM PDT

  •  vote of no confidence for.....Bernanke?.... (0+ / 0-)

    Hey Timmeh......How're they hangin?

  •  I'd like to thank the Senate for hashing out a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drnononono

    solution for a problem that weighs on the minds of ALL Americans.  Praise the Lord!  Amen!

    Six months our government has spent on this bullshit.

    Not on jobs.  Not on climate change.  They spent it on an issue that is important to crooks.

    Use cash.  That's the best way to help the small retailer.

  •  Wow - Tester just derailed his re-election (0+ / 0-)

    By backing something against his own party and state.  

    Fascinating.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:44:58 PM PDT

  •  When Durbin said "Banks own this place!", (0+ / 0-)

    it is now sadly apparent that he was decrying the fact that it was banks instead of businesses, rather than decrying the fact that it was banks instead of the people.

    Can anybody even begin to imagine half this much passion and furor erupting in the Senate over, say, unemployment?  Or poverty?  Or the climate crisis?

    Our government is utterly, completely, and permanently dysfunctional--except when the entities demanding functionality are large corporations and/or banks.

  •  We don't win. Hahahahaha. Good one. (0+ / 0-)

    Really? When was it ever going to "benefit" us?

    Banks have already said they will start limiting transaction amounts (probably because they can't get insured for large transactions in case they are fraudulent and have to refund) because of this. Plus, I want a guarantee that the retailers will now lower the prices across the board to make up for this, and all the convenience store owners will stop requiring a minimum purchase to use a card.

    Screwed if ya do...

  •  I heard the ad paid for by the banks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    on the radio yesterday here in Washington D.C., and nearly spewed a slurpee through my nose onto my windshield.

  •  There is an argument to be made (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John3

    that this benifits small retail business as well, they have to pay the fees also, if you have to get Wal-mart on board to do it I'm fine with that.

    "We believe that the people are the source of all governmental power; that the authority of the people is to be extended, not restricted."-Barbara Jordan

    by sancerre2001 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:19:02 PM PDT

    •  So true... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sancerre2001

      Even though I hate Wal*Mart (I own a hardware store) I have been cheering them on in their battles with Visa, Mastercard, and the banks.  Wal*Mart helped get debit fees changed several years ago after a long legal battle, and their victory meant my debit fees also went down.  Now once again the big box guys are going to help the small guys just a bit by winning this victory against the banks.  I don't see much benefit to consumers, but it will help many small businesses stay alive.

      "We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." Carl Sagan

      by John3 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:55:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank God Filibuster Reform Failed (0+ / 0-)

    Another perfect example of why the misguided efforts of a few on this site where both foolish and dangerous.

    TG that the Senate did not seriously consider changing the Senate Rules.!!

  •  Md- Ben Cardin voted No, Mikulski-yes! (0+ / 0-)

    I congratulate Senator Ben Cardin for doing the right thing for american consumers and I wrote an e mail to thank him. I also, wrote Mikulski and told her how disappointed I was in her vote. I worked for that lady when she ran for the Senate and it is really sad that she did not stand up for middle class and small business on this issue.

    E.McCarthy:"Republicans feed the sparrows by first feeding the horses".

    by CarmanK on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:30:15 PM PDT

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