Sen. Carper Says GAO Report Shows Federal Gov’t Benefits from Credit Card Use

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study released today that shows the federal government benefits from using and accepting credit cards.

Sen. Carper has carefully monitored this issue as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security. Earlier this year, he requested this GAO report along with Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.).

Sen. Carper said:

"This GAO report clearly shows that the U.S. government benefits from using and accepting credit and debit cards by making our financial operations more efficient and reducing costs associated with bad checks and cash thefts. Using credit cards has effectively saved the federal government money, while increasing customer satisfaction at several government entities, such as Amtrak and the Postal Service.

"This report also raises concerns about placing price controls on the electronic payments systems, as some members of Congress have indicated a willingness to do. In countries where price controls have been implemented, such as Australia, the GAO found no conclusive evidence that consumers saved money. Price controls did not mean lower retail prices for consumers, and in some instances, credit card fees actually increased, leaving consumers to foot the bill."