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Bachus speaks on Durbin Amendment, looming sequester

Spencer Bachus

Spencer Bachus

Spencer Bachus, the chairman emeritus of the House Financial Services Committee, said during a speech on Tuesday that Congress may “revisit” Dodd-Frank’s Durbin Amendment, citing the provision’s unintended impact on local financial institutions.

While credit unions and other small financial institutions are supposed to be protected from the impact of the Durbin Amendment’s cap on interchange fees, credit unions saw interchange revenue fall by more than $1 million in the third quarter of the year, Credit Union Times reports.

Bachus also spoke regarding the looming, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1.

“No one thought we would be where we are,” Bachus said during the Governmental Affairs Conference, referring to Congress’ inability to agree on the budget, according to Credit Union Times. “That’s one thing Democrats and Republicans agreed upon, that this won’t happen. We were told by our leadership this won’t happen. And the president never thought it would happen. We thought it would give us two months to come together and reduce the deficit by $1.4 to $2 trillion. But that’s not happening, and now we’re facing March 1.”

Bachus said that discretionary spending cuts were a mistake, though they have reduced the annual deficit from $1.6 billion in 2009 to an estimated $800 billion this year, adding that cuts should instead be made to mandatory spending on entitlement programs.

Additionally, during an HFSC hearing on Wednesday, Bachus urged Congress to address entitlement reform.

“Chairman Bernanke has told us to focus on long-term structural changes to our mandatory spending programs, most of all our entitlements, and that ought to be our focus,” Bachus said, the Birmingham Business Journal reports. “It will have a long-term beneficial effect, and it will not retard economic recovery. To the President and Congress, I say quit fiddling around, get to work, and let’s come up with these structural changes.”

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