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Both NACS and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) yesterday issued statements praising the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee for approving the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 (H.R. 5546), clearing the way for a full House vote. The committee voted 19-16 in favor of the measure.

“The key component of this vote is the bipartisan effort that went into producing a solid piece of legislation,” said NACS senior vice president of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith. “The House Judiciary Committee is not normally known for crossing the aisle to work together, but today the bipartisan effort made by members was historic. Ten Democrats and nine Republicans joined together to help fix a broken market and provide an opportunity for retailers to negotiate their interchange fees.”

“This vote is a major milestone in our long standing campaign for a fair, competitive and transparent credit card interchange fee system,” said John J. Motley III, FMI senior vice president of government and public affairs. The House Judiciary Committee determined that the interchange system is broken. The credit card company cartels fix the fees at levels that far exceed actual transaction costs. This legislation gives retailers the right to negotiate reasonable fees with the Visa and MasterCard networks.”

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