On June 8, merchants won a long battle in Congress as the Senate voted to let the Federal Reserve curb fees for debit-card transactions made in stores. The action blocked the delay of Federal Reserve rules to be issued on July 21 to trim the average fee of $.44 banks charge merchants for purchases made with a debit card.

The fee produces $16 billion in annual revenue for banks, according to denverpost.com. reports. The central bank proposed a cap of $.12, called an “interchange fee”—the typical fee is 1 percent to 2 percent of each purchase.

Some banking executives questioned whether retailers would save money. Don Childears, the chief executive of the Colorado Bankers Association, said he doesn’t think what the lobbying merchants have done to pass the legislation justifies the $.30 -savings.

“We doubt the retail industry would have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying Congress just to pass along a 30-cent savings each time we go to the grocery store,” Childears said. “It makes more sense that they would spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying Congress to increase their profits.”

With a 54-45 vote the Senate refused to allow a banking industry supported bill to delay the rules that are required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Investment Reform law.

The outcome of the hard fought legislation pleased Senate Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), who introduced the fee reduction provision when the Dodd-Frank law was considered last year.

The Senate action turned back an effort to delay the rule for a year, a proposal that was introduced by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Bob Croker (R-Tenn.)