September 24, 2019

NAFCU, DCUC keep NDAA in front of lawmakers

military memberNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, in collaboration with Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) President and CEO Anthony Hernandez, remains active on Capitol Hill this week advocating on behalf of credit unions to ensure an industry-opposed provision is not included in the final version of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Lobbyists and experts from both organizations have been and continue to work closely with key lawmakers, ensuring banks don't receive free rent on military bases.

The provision would treat big banks the same as local, not-for-profit credit unions when it comes to nominal leases on military bases. While it was included in the Senate-passed version of the bill, the association's advocacy efforts kept it out of the House bill.

A conference committee is now working to reconcile differences. NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler sent a letter to conferees as discussions began last week detailing how Section 2821 of the Senate bill could disadvantage credit unions.

NAFCU and DCUC sent a letter in August to leaders of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees – whose members comprise a large portion of the NDAA conference committee – to ensure credit unions' voices are heard as reconciliation on the bill begins.

Bolstering NAFCU's and DCUC's advocacy, a bipartisan group of more than a dozen representatives recently sent a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees urging the provision's removal, noting that the Department of Defense (DoD) did not ask for it to be included and has previously opposed such changes. The letter was led by House Armed Services Subcommittee Chairwoman Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

NAFCU continues to educate lawmakers and the public on how this provision, if enacted, would hurt the credit union industry. Credit unions are encouraged to use NAFCU's Grassroots Action Center campaign on the issue to contact lawmakers directly and urge their opposition.