Dick Durbin Scheming to Slip Big Retailer Handout in National Defense Bill

dick durbin scheming to slip big retailer handout in national defense bill
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) will attempt to slip a handout to big retailers in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that is supposed to be focused on maintaining America’s military might.

While the House passed its version of the NDAA, which focused on depoliticizing the military, Durbin appears to be intent on politicizing the Senate’s defense authorization bill by attaching legislation unrelated to maintaining America’s defense readiness.

Breitbart News has learned, per a Senate staffer, Durbin will work to insert the Credit Card Competition Act into the NDAA next week.

This is not the first time that Durbin has attempted this scheme to politicize the NDAA. He tried unsuccessfully to insert the legislation last year into the NDAA. Americans Tax Reform (ATR) said that they anticipate that Durbin will attempt this trick once again.

As ATR noted the legislation would act as a “backdoor price control” and an expansion of the Durbin amendment as enacted in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Essentially, the bill would direct the Federal Reserve to draft rules requiring credit cards issued in America to offer at least two unaffiliated payment network options for point-of-sale and online transactions. ATR argued that the bill would harm Americans by:

  • Removing more than 60 billion in credit card rewards that consumers receive every year, according to the International Center for Law & Economics
  • Force small banks and credit unions to cease providing co-branded cards that Americans use every day

ATR also said that there is no evidence that the amendment will pass savings down to consumers, as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that had the Durbin Amendment not passed, “65 percent of noninterest checking offered by covered banks would have been free.”

John Noonan, who served as national security adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), noted that the bill may open up Chinese access to sensitive financial data:

Proponents say the bill is tough on China because it bans UnionPay—China’s state-owned credit card network—from the American market. Sounds good.

It isn’t. China’s UnionPay has two American partners for its global expansion—Discover and FiServ. Under this bill, all credit card purchases could be processed on Discover and FiServ’s networks, thus giving massive amounts of new financial data to UnionPay’s partners. In short, the bill bans UnionPay while making it stronger. Rather than incentivizing U.S. companies to be wary of partnering with Chinese Communist Party-backed entities, Congress would be pumping rocket fuel into UnionPay’s expansion efforts.

Congressional leaders have faced immense backlash for attaching non-defense-related bills to the NDAA, as witnessed by congressional leaders’ move to attach the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) to last year’s NDAA.

This would also come at a time when Americans have increasingly scrutinized woke retailers such as Target. The big box retailer enflamed controversy after it started selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits for adults.

The Senate staffer told Breitbart News, “The Credit Card Competition Act is politically toxic. Senators know it’s a bailout for the same Target that pushes “tuck-it” trans clothes on kids, paid for by taking away voters’ credit card rewards points.  Durbin’s only hope is to attach to a must-pass piece of legislation.”

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3

Authored by Sean Moran via Breitbart July 18th 2023