House Committee Passes Legislation Repealing Debit Fee Reform

In a disappointing development for retailers and consumers alike, the House Financial Services Committee approved legislation Sept. 13 that would, among other things, repeal the debit fee reform legislation known as the Durbin Amendment. It passed on a party-line vote, with all-but-one Republican on the Committee voting for the legislation repealing the Durbin Amendment, and all Democrats voting against it.

The legislation that was passed was a larger, comprehensive financial services reform package designed to roll back a number of the reforms contained in the Wall Street reform bill known as Dodd-Frank.  Although most of the bill is targeted at banking regulations that are not directly applicable to NATSO members, the fact that it did include repeal of the Durbin Amendment is a negative development.
 
As a result of the Durbin Amendment, which became law in 2010, the Federal Reserve has set a limit on the fees that retailers may be charged for debit card processing. It also resulted in much-needed competition into the debit card routing space. It has demonstrably led to more cost-savings for retailers, which has in turn been passed along to consumers via lower prices for products. 
 
Although the legislation is very unlikely to become law this Congress, it is laying the groundwork for financial reform efforts in 2017. For this reason, NATSO is actively lobbying against the legislation.
David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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