CUNA and credit union leagues from around the country wrote to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership Thursday to express concern over a provision in the Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020. A House version also passed in July without the provision, the differences will be handled by conference committee after the August recess.
“The CUNA/League System and our credit union members are extremely concerned over Section 2821 of the Senate-passed NDAA that would provide rent-free access to military installations for more complex, profit-centered financial institutions. The House-passed NDAA contains no similar language. As conference negotiations begin, we urge all conferees to reject the inclusion of Section 2821.”
Currently the DOD has discretionary authority to waive certain costs for land leases and fees for credit unions. Section 2821 of the Senate NDAA would allow for potential expansion of the exemption for financial institutions that meet the same standards as credit unions eligible for the exemption.
“The very nature of credit unions — democratically controlled, not-for profit financial institutions — are to reinvest in our members. Credit unions on military bases are focused on ensuring the financial readiness of America’s service members,” the letter reads. The credit union mission and structure mean funds are reinvested in the bases and the military communities that they operate in through lower rates, better products and more responsive services for our servicemembers.
“Credit unions are able to provide the strongest community support in the face of morale, recreation and welfare funding shortfalls as we remain the only not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions on an installation,” it adds.
CUNA will continue work with Leagues and the Defense Credit Union Council to engage lawmakers as the bill moves into conference, advocating to ensure that the House language is incorporated into the final bill.