CUNA Pushes Against Increased Bank Access to Military Bases as Senate Considers Defense Authorization Act

CUNA called on Senate leadership Monday to reject inclusion of any language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 that would expand the Department of Defense’s (DoD) authority to exempt financial institutions from certain costs on military installations. The current Senate version contains such language, while CUNA, leagues and the Defense Credit Union Council successfully blocked language in the House NDAA that would have broadened the exemption.

The NJCUL contacted House Armed Services Committee members from New Jersey, Reps Donald Norcross (D-1), Andy Kim (D-3) and Mikie Sherrill (D-11) to encourage their support on the matter.

“As the only member-owned, not-for-profit, democratically controlled option in financial services, credit unions' mission is to promote thrift and provide access to credit for members,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “It is a mission they have fulfilled for more than 70 years and it’s a mission that remains unchanged today. Credit unions are focused on ensuring the financial readiness of our service members and their families.”

The DoD has discretionary authority to waive the cost for land leases and other fees for credit unions who meet specific field of membership standards and secure an agreement with individual base commanders on a case by case basis.

The Senate NDAA currently NDAA includes language to expand this exemption to banks that meet similar membership standard to those placed on credit unions seeking these exemptions.
CUNA’s letter also notes that banks have already been granted the ability to gain similar waivers under 10 USC §2667 but have not exercised this authority.

The House NDAA passed the House Armed Services Committee June 12.