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Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS)

Senate leaders committed to CCCA vote, Marshall says

News: Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told reporters he’d received a commitment from Senate leadership to hold a vote on the Credit Card Competition Act before the end of the 118th Congress, the senator’s latest move to up pressure on the chamber’s leadership.

Marshall spoke to reporters Thursday night about his push for amendment votes in the reauthorization of the FAA, including a bill co-sponsored by Majority Whip Dick Durbin that attempts to reduce the transaction fees card companies charge. The legislation allows merchants to use a secondary, cheaper network to process payments, and it’s staunchly opposed by the banking sector.

Asked whether Marshall had received any commitment from Senate leadership about holding a vote on the CCCA, the Kansas Republican replied:

Marshall has threatened multiple times in the past year to hold up must-pass legislation in the Senate unless the Credit Card Competition Act received a floor vote — or a commitment to hold one later.

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t comment on Marshall’s statement.

Marshall said in July 2023 that he received “assurances” his bill would get a vote this Congress. Time is running out for that commitment to be fulfilled.

A floor vote on the Durbin-Marshall package would be a significant blow to the banking sector, which has lobbied furiously against the bill over the past two years.

The CCCA’s odds of passage are uncertain. The bill’s co-sponsors are a motley crew, running the spectrum from Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) to Sens. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).

The issue is complicated by the might of the two industry lobbies at odds here. The retail sector is pushing hard for this bill’s passage in order to reduce the fees they pay in credit card transactions. Many lawmakers would rather not choose between banks and merchants with billions of dollars at stake.

Senior bank lobbyists have told us for months that the financial industry doesn’t have a reliable whip count about where many senators may fall. If there’s one thing banks hate more than anything, it’s uncertainty. Also, losing money.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said this was the first time Marshall had said he received a commitment the CCCA would receive a vote this Congress. In a July 2023 statement, Marshall said he had received “assurances” the bill would receive a vote this Congress.

— Brendan Pedersen

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