Credit Union Trades Defend Nominal Leases in Military Times Op-ed, NDAA Call-to-Action Continues

In a rebuttal to a banking trades’ op-ed published last week in Military Times, CUNA, the Defense Credit Union Council and NAFCU criticized for-profit banks for seeking to end-run the Department of Defense (DoD) in an attempt to obtain nominal lease space on military bases and to be treated the same as not-for-profit credit unions.

The credit union trades’ op-ed noted "[C]redit unions simply put our members first-ahead of profit. If banks want to be treated like credit unions, they need to start acting like them," the joint letter states.

Bankers are seeking to include provision into the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require the DoD treat for-profit banks the same as local, not-for-profit credit unions when it comes to nominal leases on military bases. However, banks can already obtain nominal leases if they demonstrate to the DoD how their services would benefit the men and women of our military. 

While CUNA and the state leagues successfully prevented a troublesome provision to expand for-profit bank access to military bases from being included in the House version of the NDAA (H.R. 2500), the Senate-passed version of the bill (S.1790) included it. A conference committee, which includes members of each chamber, is currently debating the differences between the bills and will soon release a final version.

The NDAA Call-to-Action continues as CUNA and the state leagues work to keep that provision out of the final bill.

Credit union professionals, volunteers and members are encouraged to visit the CUNA/League system’s Grassroots Action Center where they can easily email or Tweet their members of Congress to tell them to reject the Senate version’s Section 2821 and listing why it would be detrimental to credit unions, members and consumers.

New Jersey credit union advocates willing to go a step further are asked to reach out directly to the offices our state’s delegation members named to the conference committee:

CUNA and the state leagues wrote to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders and members in early August to urge the conference committee to reject Section 2821. The NJCUL has also been in contact with the state’s conferees and the issue came up during the League’s Annual Advocacy Appreciation Reception this past Sunday. While the reception’s guest of honor Rep. Kim, an NDAA conferee, said he was unable to predict whether the provision would be included in the conference report, he did express his support for striking the provision from the final bill.     

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