News In Brief

Senate backs tacking 5% on credit-card purchases

Consumers could be charged up to 5 percent extra for using credit cards to pay for their purchases under a bill passed by the Senate late Tuesday and sent to the House.

Despite protests that working-class Americans will suffer, the Senate approved a bill lifting an eight-year-old ban that had prohibited merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases.

The ban expired Monday. But Congress is considering extending it temporarily until the House can grapple with the controversial issue of whether consumers will suffer or benefit if the ban is eliminated altogether.

The bill's fate is uncertain in the House.

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