Legislation to expand retailers’ credit card options is expected to be taken up by the full U.S. Senate when they return from recess the week of Oct. 16., at which time they are expected to resume consideration of a three-bill appropriations package. During the debate, Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), will offer the text of The Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 (S.1838) as an amendment to the package. Sen. Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Marshall (R-KS) reintroduced the Credit Card Competition Act in June 2023.
The legislation aims to reduce swipe fees by increasing competition to Visa and Mastercard. The bill would direct the Federal Reserve to ensure that that large credit-card issuing banks have at least one network available to merchants that isn't Visa or Mastercard. The other network could include American Express and/or Discover.
Ohio Senator J.D. Vance (R) and Vermont Senator Peter Welch (D) also are cosponsors of the measure. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the House companion bill (H.R. 3881). Earlier, on September 20, Sen. Durbin, Sen. Marshall and others took to the Senate Floor to urge Senate Leadership to allow the legislation to come before the full Senate. The National Retail Federation and the National Federation of Independent Business support the legislation. Opponents, including VISA and Mastercard, argue that the proposed new restrictions will drive up credit card costs for consumers.
In the meantime, we are closely monitoring the status of this legislation and Congressional consideration of appropriations measures. Please continue to check for updates.