The assault against even the most modest attempt to take the boot off the neck of the American consumer continues. Wall Street leaders like Jamie Dimon whine about regulation. And the banks are hoping to keep their hands in the pockets of consumers--and they have willing hands in the U.S. Senate.
The Senate just voted on an amendment by Jon Tester to delay putting a cap on the fees charged on debit cards. The amendment failed 54-45--because it needed 60 votes to pass. We all know what delay means--delay means death for any kind of regulation....
A vote FOR Tester's amendment meant that a Senator stood with the banks and against the interests of the people. A vote AGAINST the amendment meant a Senator stood with the people against the banks. Some Republicans voted against the Tester amendment because they didn't think it went far enough--those Republicans favored killing the cap outright.
VOTING NO (and with the people)
VOTING YES (and thus for the banks, and, presumably, guaranteeing more campaign contributions)
Make your own judgments about your own Senator.
Here is a news story just now on this:
The United States Senate defeated on Wednesday an attempt backed by banks and the major credit-card companies to delay new rules that could drastically cut the amount that banks can charge retailers to process debit-card transactions.
The debit-card rules were a major part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill passed last year and the Senate vote was the first major challenge to the new law...
The Federal Reserve, as guided by the new law, had proposed rules that would cut the average debit-card processing fee to between 7 and 12 cents per transaction from a current level of 44 cents. Though Congress exempted small banks with less than $10 billion in assets from the new limits, banking regulators warned that such a two-tiered fee system among banks would not be competitive. Opponents of the delay said that all but 100 banks and three credit unions would be exempt from the fee restrictions...
The vote also provided a victory for Senator Durbin. Mr. Durbin, who sponsored the original measure to roll back the fees that banks are able to charge on debit transactions, was opposed in the effort by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, whose constituency includes Wall Street and the major banks.
Mr. Durbin said that a delay of the new debit rules would have kept fees at current levels and given banks “a windfall of profit that they do not deserve.”
By coming close to victory, banks are likely to be emboldened to fight other regulations being drawn up as a result of the Dodd-Frank bill. Those include rules that would subject derivatives to increased margin requirements and force derivative trades through a central exchange. Bankers and business lobbies are also opposed to the structure of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is scheduled to take over mortgage and other consumer-related regulatory duties from traditional banking regulators.