Small Business Owners, Rep. Welch Brave Storms to Protect Swipe Fee Reform!

Mar 10, 2011, 17:32 ET from Reform Swipe Fees NOW!

Reforms passed by Congress last year must be properly implemented in light of Wall Street push to weaken reform

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 100 small business owners from across the country descended upon Washington, D.C. today where they braved severe weather conditions to participate in a rally outside the U.S. Capitol to urge Congress and the Federal Reserve to protect commonsense swipe fee reform – then marched to Capitol Hill to conduct face-to-face meetings. Last year, Congress passed and the president signed into law important bipartisan reforms to rein in excessive swipe fees. Now, as the Federal Reserve (the Fed) works to establish rules guiding implementation, the big banks and credit card companies are lobbying to weaken reform in a last ditch effort to retain their perks and profits – but Main Street continues to fight the good fight.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110310/DC63326)

"Last year Congress passed common sense legislation to protect small businesses and consumers from the fees charged by big banks and credit card companies on debit card purchases," Senator Durbin (D-IL) said. "I'll continue to stand with small business owners as we fight Wall Street's desperate attempts to block reforms from going into effect."

"After the epic overreach by the big banks and credit card companies, Congress enacted legislation that put a cop on the beat," Congressman Welch said. "We made sure that no longer would big banks be able to charge the highest fees in the world and rack up billions of dollars in profits on the backs of small businesses and consumers. I am confident that the same movement that brought reform will beat back the efforts of big banks and credit card companies to hold on to their profits and weaken the law."

For small business owners across the country, properly implementing these reforms means an opportunity to grow their businesses, offer better pay to employees, and pass savings on to their customers. As the Fed works to establish rules to determine how the reforms will be implemented, these small business owners hope the original intent of the law prevails. For big banks and credit card companies, however, implementing these reasonable reforms as passed by Congress means no longer enjoying the sky-high profits and sensational perks that they have enjoyed throughout years of out of control fees.

"The rain isn't stopping today, and either are we... we've come too far in this fight to let a little rain stop us," said National spokesman for Reform Swipe Fees NOW! and 7-Eleven franchise owner, Dennis Lane. Year after year I have seen these fees continue to rise and prevent guys like me from lowering prices, expanding business or strengthening a local economy. Well enough is enough! We have got to protect the reforms that Congress passed."

"The original intent of the reforms as passed was to enable a system in which debit swipe fees are reasonable and proportional to the processing costs incurred," said NACS president and CEO Hank Armour. "We cannot allow Visa, MasterCard and the world's biggest banks to spend millions of lobbying dollars to weaken reform and protect their multi-billion-dollar cash cow that delivers no commensurate benefits to retailers or consumers.

Today's rally came just a week after lobbyists with the Credit Union National Association traveled to D.C. to urge the Fed to weaken reform and a week before the American Bankers Association is scheduled to deploy their high-paid lobbyists to encourage the same.

About Reform Swipe Fees NOW!: Reform Swipe Fees NOW! is a project by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The project unites U.S. business owners, small and large, in a campaign for fair debit and credit card swipe fees.

SOURCE Reform Swipe Fees NOW!