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The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 23, 2011 • Issue 11:05:02

Legislation in the works

Regulation of the bankcard industry is the dominant theme of federal and state legislation introduced in 2010 and 2011. This kind of legislation appears to have bipartisan support in Washington and across the country.

On the federal level there is much attention on regulating and policing personal identification security issues. Federal legislators also are looking to legalize and regulate online gambling - but without credit card transactions - and lawmakers are demonstrating an interest in protecting Internet freedom.

Federal actions

More to the point for ISOs and merchant level salespeople are bills currently being considered in Washington. HR 1125, introduced by Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., would put a 1 percent tax on every electronic transaction; in return the money collected from the new tax would be used to eliminate the national debt and the national income tax.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are both offering legislation to protect cyber information.

The White House recently offered a cyber security legislative proposal that is supposed to help guide and perhaps consolidate all of this legislation.

Among the cyber security measures currently on the legislative docket are S 799, sponsored by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of creating personal privacy protections and policing those rules once they are created. A second House bill, HR 1707, would similarly set policies and procedures for ensuring the protection of personal data.

Another bill in the works, HR 1174, would make Internet gambling legal, but the legislation would not allow credit card payments, according to the bill's language.

State moves

There is an effort in five states to enforce the restrictions on the kinds of prohibitions, restrictions and fees credit card companies can impose on merchants. These bills are remarkably similar in language and intent and generally enjoy bipartisan support though they are moving sluggishly through their legislatures when they move at all.

For more information on these bills, as well as other legislation of interest to payment professionals, please visit our new resource, Legislative Roundup, at www.greensheet.com/legislation.php. end of article

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