May 15th, 2010
01:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Congress: Cap ATM fees at 50 cents

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Some lawmakers are looking to cut ATM fees."]NEW YORK ( - As Congress debates the new rules of the road for the U.S. banking industry, some lawmakers have an ambitious proposal: They want to cut ATM fees.

Last week, a trio of Democratic senators led by Iowa's Tom Harkin proposed capping automated teller machine fees at just 50 cents.

Currently, banks and other ATM operators are free to charge consumers whatever they want for using their machine. And backers of the amendment maintain that those who tend feel the brunt of those fees are lower- and middle-income Americans, precisely those who can't afford it.

Full story

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Watcher

    Thank you Congress, Thank you,Thank you,Thank you, Thank you for that relieve. These banks are Killers!!!

    May 15, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Banks thrive on the fees they charge lower and middle-income people while corporations can do business with banks without overdraft or ATM fees, even when they don't have the money. These type of practices have existed for years and it's time to stop.

    May 15, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Republicans will vote "No!" because it may hurt the banks income. All republicans (not just Bush and Cheney) need to be blamed for the financial meltdown, the bank bailout, the unnecessary wars, the massive debt, big government, tax cuts for the wealthy, standing with big insurance against Americans, and the attack on our constitutional rights.

    May 15, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Ray

    The ATM fees are reasonable and are a choice if consumers do no want to pay a fee they can go to their bank. Tom harkin is seriously confused on what this country stands for and that is freedom of choice. Why don't we discuss the costs of a steak and what a steak cost in a restaurant??

    May 15, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. No Brainer

    Great ... this only comes about 25 years too late.

    May 15, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Elliott Carlin

    I'm all for it if we can attach an amendment to limit lobbyist bribes to the same amount.

    May 15, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Pat F

    Good idea, boys!

    Next, let's cap congressional pay at $50,000 per year, stop providing them with offices and staff and all the other perks of power, and cap the amount of money they can receive from any other source and for any other purpose whatsoever at zero!

    What a great trend – capping other people's pay is fun!

    May 15, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. lovable liberal

    While they're working on predatory pricing, they ought to think about the tech-usury of text message charges, which are *incredibly* out of scale with their negligible costs.

    May 15, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. JK Ashburn, VA

    Another wonderful, subtle example of socialism. I'm going to write my socialist Virginia senators (both of whom were elected as "moderates") and ask that they cap the price of Hostess Twinkies at 25 cents. Current prices are outrageous.

    May 15, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. JK Ashburn, VA

    If they really want to save consumers some money, they'd allow the US Postal Service to close some of the underused thousands of post offices so the USPS can keep the price of stamps down. Oh wait, the post offices are from their personal pork barrels so they won't do that.

    Congress is full of hypocrits!

    May 15, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. thor

    This shows just how naive some Senators are. While i'm no defender of banks and some of their ingenouus ways of making money,this idea is crazy. If you stop them from what you consider abnormal high fees they will find another way to get what they want.It's called economics.Most of these people have never worked in the private sector and have worked in government their entire lives.

    May 15, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Aaron

    Just another bank ripoff that their spin artists put a spin on to make it seem beneficial for their customers to get ripped off.

    May 15, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. one voice

    Just more proof that the Democrats look out for the average Americans while the Republicans will try to block this proposal. YOU WATCH

    May 15, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. art in kingwood

    Dems are absolute fools.

    May 15, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Jeff

    Thank goodness...we've been raped over these fees for the past 15 years or more. It always galls me that I get "taxed" by businesses 10% or more to access my money!

    May 15, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Why not simply nationalise (i.e., steal) the banks? That way these socialists can set any rate they please. They could even set the machines to give everyone a three-dollar bonus every time they get money–paid for, of course, by those of us who actually pay taxes.

    Or people can just go to ATMs that don't charge for their use–but of course Democrat politicians just know people are too stupid to think of that on their own.

    May 15, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. steve

    If you thought about capping all fees to $.50 then you would have someting. Aren't they using our money and paying us partically nothing for it? Why are we paying any fees at all?

    May 15, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. WrongKindofChange

    Does our government need to micromanage everything? If people don't want t pay high fees at ATM machines, then don't use them. Plan ahead and get to the banks during bankin hours, right a check, or use a debit card. It's that simple. Why do we need our governemnet to micromanage everything in our lives?

    Does anyone else see how much control our government is taking of our lives?

    May 15, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    Why do groups always use the excuse that "Middle and Low Income Citizens" will always feel the brunt of any proposal they object to. Don't people know that Middle and Low income people are going to be affected by America just breathing? If America sneezes we fel the hurt from the sudden muscle contraction and if America smiles we feel the warmth of the sun light. Whatever happens in America, Middle Class and Lower income Americans feel it and are affected by it so that is a statement we can leave out of everything now.

    May 15, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Can we cap the lies, hate, fear, and fake boogey-man paranoia being so blatently pushed down people's throats by the right-wing nutjobs?

    Some of our less fortunate, less intelligent folks believe some of the hogwash, and it scares them needlessly.

    May 15, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Bill

    The banks will just provide fewer ATM machines. Duh!

    I'm disappointed that Democrats are behind this silly measure.

    May 15, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Patrick Belvin

    I am all for the cap, but watch the Repubs find some way to put a political spin on this to say that it is another form of too much government. They will call it, Socialism, or better yet, Obamabanking

    May 15, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Doraine Gordon

    I don't see this happening. The Republicans won't pass anything like this. It would help the American people. And they sure as heck don't intend to do anything for the people. I never saw the GOP so bound and determined to say NO to everything. They helped to mess up this country and won't turn a hand to help sraighten it out. They just want the power back so they can continue with all their dirty deeds. Don't you people understand that the Dems have to spend alot more than normal to clean up the mess the GOP left? If you want to see us go on down the tube just vote the GOP back into office. We will all be sorry!!!

    May 15, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. File under "Sarcasm"

    Since there's no logical reason why the fee should be capped at 50 cents, why not say 10 cents or 1 cent or no cents. No cents would be appropriate as most of our Congressmen have no sense when it comes to business and the real world.

    The unintended consequence of this stupidity will be fewer ATMs (which cost money to build and run) and fees increased in other areas on all users to subsidize the cost of ATMs

    May 15, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. David

    The dems are at it again....trying to run private sector businesses.. What happened to CAPITALISM? Oh, that;'s right, Obama, the Socialist, was elected.

    May 15, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |