Proposed Delay in Protecting Military From Predatory Lending Is Unconscionable

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Today, the House Armed Services Committee will vote on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1735) (PDF). It contains a provision that will delay for at least a year – for a redundant and unnecessary study – Pentagon regulations designed to protect members of the military from predatory lenders. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a veteran and member of the committee, is expected to offer an amendment to strike the onerous provision, which threatens unit preparedness, unit morale and the well-being of the nation’s defenders.

It is unconscionable for the GOP-led Armed Services Committee to further delay a rule that, according to the Department of Defense, will protect military service members from predatory lenders and ensure the readiness of our armed forces. It is a sign of just how indebted certain members of Congress are to corporate interests that a critical, commonsense regulation that is needed to protect our national security can be sacrificed in service to the predatory lending industry.