Congress is set to leave Washington, D.C. this week for its month-long August recess, and NACS has learned that a vote on the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) will not happen this week. But lawmakers heard the convenience and fuel retailing industry loud and clear over the past week, with advocates sending nearly 5,000 messages to Senators on Capitol Hill demanding a vote on the CCCA. NACS is calling on its members to keep up the pressure and continue pushing for the passage of the bill.
As NACS previously reported, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) offered the Credit Card Competition Act as a Republican amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). There has been pressure amongst Senate leadership to get the defense bill pushed through this week, as well as resistance by some Senators to having the CCCA considered as an amendment in an unrelated defense bill. Adding to these challenges, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) contracted COVID over the weekend and could not return to D.C., leaving the CCCA’s Democratic champion and Senate Majority Whip on the sidelines. Senator Marshall negotiated with Senate leadership this week and made the following announcement on Wednesday:
“Today, we were given assurances that the Credit Card Competition Act will be given a vote this Congress. Swipe fees, the Visa-Mastercard duopoly and the Wall Street banks that back them are price-gouging American families at a rate seven times higher than the E.U. That will soon end.”
The credit card industry has also mounted a massive lobbying effort against CCCA, with the president of the American Bankers Association saying last week that they “will spend whatever is needed” in order to block a vote on the CCCA.
It is crucial that convenience industry advocates do not let up the pressure. The Senate will be in recess for the month of August, with many lawmakers returning to their home states to visit with constituents. This is a perfect time to arrange a meeting with your Senator at home to push for the passage of the CCCA.
If you or any of your industry colleagues are interested in participating in an in-person meeting in your state, please reach out to me, Margaret Hardin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!