Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin introduced companion legislation Thursday to a bill by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers that would regulate interchange fees.

"Every time you make a purchase with plastic, the bank that issued your credit card gets a cut of the sale amount," Sen. Durbin said in a press release. "The big banks … end up making billions from these hidden fees."

His bill is backed by merchants and retail groups and opposed by banks, credit unions, and card networks. It would create a three-member board of lawyers appointed by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to regulate interchange rates.

The Illinois Democrat has considered offering the bill at least since February but had held out for a Republican co-sponsor. He had sought Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and others but has so far failed to secure GOP support.

No hearings or votes on the legislation have been scheduled, but Sen. Durbin sits on the Judiciary Committee, which would probably get the bill

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