Call-to-Action to Protect Defense Credit Unions’ On-base Facilities Continues

The CUNA/League-system Call-to-Action urging credit unions to contact their members of Congress to ensure a harmful provision is excluded from the final language of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) continues. The provision would expand to certain banks an exception that credit unions currently have granting rent-free access to military installations.

At issue is Section 2821 of the Senate-passed version (S.1790) of the NDAA. This spring, CUNA/League advocacy helped ensure no such provision was included in the House-passed version of the bill. The bill will now be considered in conference committee to work out the differences between the two versions before being signed into law.

“This provision puts the financial health of our military members in jeopardy, which is why we need credit union leaders to contact their member of Congress now and tell them to reject Section 2821 of the Senate NDAA,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “If it isn't removed from the bill, banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America will have easier access to set up shop on bases around the world. We have seen how these banks have treated their customers over the years. There is no good reason to make it easier for them to engage our servicemen and women. We have a limited window - now is the time to for action.”

Individuals can use CUNA’s Grassroots Action Center to email or Tweet their members of Congress asking them to reject the Section 2821 and listing why it would be detrimental to credit unions, members and consumers.

CUNA and Leagues wrote to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders and members in early August to urge the conference committee reject the inclusion of Section 2821. The NJCUL has also contacted Reps. Andy Kim (D-3), Donald Norcross (D-1), Frank Pallone (D-6) and Mikie Sherrill (D-11) who were named House conferees. Kim, Norcross and Sherrill serve on the House Armed Services Committee.

The letters note that credit unions’ nature as not-for-profit financial cooperatives means “credit unions on military bases are focused on ensuring the financial readiness of America’s service members. 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.”

CUNA and the state leagues successfully fought against inclusion of a similar provision in last year’s NDAA.