September 18, 2023

This week: NAFCU defends CUs against interchange push, gov’t shutdown

US Capitol buildingThe House and Senate are busy on Capitol Hill this week as lawmakers try to secure agreements on funding measures ahead of a potential government shutdown at the end of the month. Notably, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, has threatened to hold up the process by calling for a vote – either as a standalone or amendment to one of the funding packages – on his proposed big box bailout legislation.

Marshall last week filed the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) – a bill sponsored by himself and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would extend debit interchange requirements to credit cards – as an amendment to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger urged senators to reject Marshall’s efforts, highlighting the consequences it would have on consumers and credit unions.

In addition, NAFCU joined with several other financial services industry groups to oppose the latest interchange push.

“The financial services industry stands united in opposition to the effort by Senators Durbin and Marshall to delay funding for veterans and our military in order to gift a massive government handout to Walmart, Target, and other big-box retailers,” the groups said. “The Durbin-Marshall credit card routing legislation has no relevance to military or veteran spending whatsoever. We call on both Senators to promptly abandon their effort to use the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to secure government favors for big-box retailers at the expense of consumers, small businesses, and small financial institutions.”

NAFCU is also monitoring an amendment filed by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to attach his Capping Credit Card Interest Rates Act – which would cap credit card annual percentage rates at 18 percent – as an amendment to the military appropriations bill. NAFCU and CUNA raised concerns about the bill, noting that it could “push people with marred credit histories and on the financial fringe to payday lenders, as well as discourage future innovation and new products.” 

However, Marshall’s plot isn’t the only effort delaying movement on government funding. In the Senate, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., opposed unanimous consent on a “minibus” approach to create small funding packages. In the House, divisions among lawmakers created a shortfall of votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles that may lead to a Republican-version of a continuing resolution, which would face opposition in the Senate.

NAFCU will continue to monitor funding efforts and urge lawmakers to advance legislation to prevent a shutdown, provide stability in government programs, and adequately fund credit union priorities.

Also happening this week:

Stay tuned to NAFCU Today for the latest out of Washington.