June 07, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) released the following statement announcing his intention to support Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan amendment to further study the debit interchange market prior to implementation of rules. Senator Tester’s amendment would require the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the National Credit Union Administration to conduct research and to take into account the adverse effects on consumers, the effectiveness of the exemption for community banks and credit unions, and all costs associated with debit card transactions to card issuers and payment card networks in the debit interchange rulemaking.

“As we saw in the last Congress, Senator Tester is an effective legislator who does a great job building bipartisan consensus, and this latest effort of his is another commonsense proposal that bridges the gap on a complicated financial issue.

“As I suspected last year when I voted against the debit interchange amendment and as regulators have testified at recent hearings before the Banking Committee, finding a workable solution is not easily or quickly accomplished. This modest, bipartisan proposal does not repeal the debit interchange amendment, but simply asks the regulators to take just a little more time to study and get it right.

“Coming from South Dakota, I appreciate Senator Tester’s efforts to help forge a compromise so that our community banks and credit unions can continue to serve consumers all across America, including rural areas.”