WASHINGTON (July 15, 2010) — A massive, 2,300-page bill designed to reform federal rules governing the financial services industry has passed in the Senate today, after a 60-38 vote ended a Republican filibuster on the legislation.
H.R. 4173—the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010—has already passed the House of Representatives. President Barack Obama has promised to sign it into law after final passage.
The bill mandates more than 500 new regulations designed to place limits on the derivatives market and trading activities by large banks, and to make financial institutions answerable to a new consumer protection agency. Advocates of the bill claim it will go a long way to prevent another financial crisis like the one in 2007-09, but opponents insist it will only cause lending institutions to place an even tighter hold on capital.
The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is among a number of small business associations that support the bill because it would reform regulations surrounding the so-called “credit card swipe fee.” The reform bill, TIA said in a July 8 press release, would give the Federal Reserve the authority to determine whether interchange rates charged to retailers by credit card issuers are reasonable and proportionate, and also would give retailers the right to offer discounts for cash.
“We know that we have been paying far more than necessary,” TIA said in urging its members to contact their senators in support of the bill. “How much of your bottom line has contributed the $50 billion a year the banks make on this fee alone?”