Early this morning, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s (IL-08) amendment striking language delaying protections for Service Members from predatory lending passed the Armed Services Committee 32-30 and is now included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In 2013, Duckworth was joined by 53 of her colleagues in a letter to the Department of Defense calling for increased protections for members of the military from high cost loans. Last year, in response, DoD proposed a rule to extend Military Lending Act protections to all forms of credit targeting members of the military. Without Duckworth’s amendment, the NDAA would have unnecessarily delayed the rule change for as long as a year.
“The American people are disappointed with the constant gridlock in Washington and the inability of Congress to act,” said Duckworth. “This is especially true when it comes to supporting our Service Members and Veterans. This morning, I was proud that my amendment helped to avoid an unnecessary delay in implementing crucial protections for Service Members from predatory lending. Under current law, Service Members continue to be vulnerable to abusive lending that causes incredible financial difficulty for them and directly impacts military readiness. Those who work every day to defend our nation deserve the strongest protections our government can provide.”
“I introduced this amendment because the language inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act would have forced the Department of Defense to waste resources undertaking redundant studies and postpone the implementation of valuable protections. As the Department of Defense and CFPB’s own reports show, Service Members have not been fully protected since the Military Lending Act was passed, and further delay will put more service members and their families in harm’s way. There can be little doubt that ensuring our service members are offered fair and affordable credit is a priority of the utmost urgency. Our troops should not have to wait any longer for these common sense protections.”
Last fall, Duckworth published an op-ed detailing the importance of this issue.