House Republicans to drop debit rule repeal

House Republican leaders are planning to drop language from a bank deregulation bill that would have eliminated a cap on debit card swipe fees, handing a major victory to retail lobbyists who spent months trying to kill the provision.

House GOP leaders decided to remove the proposal from the nearly 600-page Financial CHOICE Act after confirming Wednesday that it threatened support for the rest of the bill, multiple senior Republican sources familiar with the matter said.

The legislation, which would repeal and replace key parts of the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank law, is a priority on the GOP’s agenda.

The intervention by House leaders is a defeat for House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, who wrote the bill.

The Texas Republican kept the debit card rule repeal in the legislation despite signs that a number of Republicans were uneasy with it. House leaders used Wednesday’s whip count to confirm that the provision jeopardized the bill.

The issue forced lawmakers to pick between the banks, which wanted to repeal the regulation from Dodd-Frank, and retailers, which were fighting to keep it alive.

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