The National Restaurant Association is applauding the House Financial Services Committee for revising the Financial CHOICE Act to remove repeal of debit swipe fee protections before the legislation moves to the House floor.
“By keeping debit swipe protections in place, small businesses will not be stuck with a debit card tax on top of their already thin operating margins,” said Cicely Simpson, our executive vice president of policy and government affairs.
Reasons to keep the protections in place
The Financial CHOICE Act, drafted by Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, initially sought to remove debit swipe fee protections. Originally passed as part of the Durbin Amendment in 2010, they provided relief to small businesses who’d been paying astronomical fees on every debit-card purchase a customer made.
Once enacted, the protections cut the fees nearly in half, saving restaurants millions of dollars annually. This allowed restaurant operators to hire tens of thousands of new employees.
Simpson said the National Restaurant Association is pleased by the House Financial Services Committee’s actions to remove repeal of the protections and would “continue to advocate for fairness in swipe fees on behalf of the more than 1 million restaurant owners across the country.”
One for the win column
Restaurateurs around the country worked together to convince Congress to keep the debit-card swipe fee protections in place. The National Restaurant Association deployed an aggressive campaign (see video below) that included messaging via earned, social and digital media and political lobbying to achieve the victory.
Simpson called the win “significant,” and a “grassroots win for everyone involved.”
The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the revised legislation as soon as the week of June 5.