WASHINGTON Despite bipartisan ambitions in the House to repeal the Durbin amendment there is virtually no chance of the cap on debit fees being repealed in this Congress because the Senate—where the issue was fought over bitterly last year—has no interest in revisiting the matter.
That’s despite proclamations by several House members, both Republican and Democrat, at CUNA’s Government Affairs Conference this week, including Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Alabama’s Spencer Bachus, his predecessor as chairman, both Republicans, and California’s Brad Sherman, a Democrat.
Hensarling’s endorsement of a repeal Tuesday morning drew one of the day’s biggest applause—even though only a single credit union in attendance, North Carolina State Employees’ CU, was affected by the Durbin amendment’s cap on debit fees last year. SECU is one of just three credit unions coming under the $10 billion and over classification for Durbin and the other two credit unions Navy FCU and Pentagon FCU, are not members of CUNA.
Lobbyists for both CUNA and NAFCU told the Credit Union Journal today they don’t expect the Senate to reconsider repeal of Durbin, especially as the Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who sponsored the provision, remains the second-leading Democrat in the Senate as the Democrats’ Majority Whip.
A representative for Sen. Jon Tester, who led the repeal effort in the Senate last year, said after Tester’s GAC remarks this morning that there are no plans to revisit the repeal any time soon. “The time to do this was 2011 - Senator Tester's legislative plate is full right now but he will continue to advocate for credit unions and community banks,” said a spokesman for the Montana Democrat.