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Democrats Push Campus Debit Card Crackdown

May 27, 2014

A group of Congressional Democrats last week introduced a new legislative push to crack down on campus banking products, including student debit cards. Representative George Miller, the top Democrat on the House education committee, and Senator Tom Harkin, the chair of the Senate education committee, along with 63 other Democrats introduced a bill that would ban revenue-sharing agreements between colleges and student debit card providers. The bill would also prohibit gifts from campus card providers to college officials.

The lawmakers said the legislation was, in part, a response to a February Government Accountability Office report that outlined several concerns with campus debit cards and the relationship that card providers have with colleges. Earlier this week, an Education Department negotiated rule making panel failed to reach consensus on a department proposal to impose stricter rules on campus banking products. Department officials had proposed restrictions on the marketing of college-sponsored debit cards and had sought to ban certain fees.

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Michael Stratford

Michael Stratford, Reporter, covers federal policy for Inside Higher Ed. He joined the publication in August 2013 after a stint covering the Arkansas state legislature for The Associated Press. He previously worked and interned at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and The Chronicle of Higher Education. At The Chronicle, he wrote about federal policy and covered higher education issues in the 2012 elections. Michael grew up in Belmont, Mass. and graduated from Cornell University, where he was managing editor of The Cornell Daily Sun.

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