Wednesday June 08, 2011 | 03:24 PM

Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine both voted against legislation proposing to put a one-year hold on a law capping so-called debit card "swipe" fees. The bill failed to get the 60 votes needed and failed, so the new law will go into effect after all on July 21.

Snowe had said Tuesday she was leaning against the amendment sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Bob Corker, R-Tenn. Collins said she was still looking at the issue, but expressed reservations about holding the law up and noted that she favored swipe, or interchange, fee reform.

The federal reserve is charged with putting the new law into effect, and has indicated it will put rules in place limiting fees to an average of about 12 cents per transaction, down from about 44 cents currently. Retailers say they were paying out billions of dollars a year in too-high fees, costing them profits and jobs; banks said the new law will harm smaller and community banks and credit unions and make it difficult to pay for such debit card benefits as anti-fraud measures.

Both Collins and Snowe voted for the broader financial regulation reform bill last year that included the lower swipe fees provision.

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@mainetoday.com

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

More

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.