AFSA Advocacy Successful in House-passed NDAA
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act. President Trump has threatened to veto the bill citing its lack of legislative language removing legal liability protections for social media companies. The House vote was 335-78, which is above the two-thirds threshold needed to override a Presidential veto. The annual defense measure is considered “must pass,” and the Senate is expected to approve it next week before it heads to the President’s desk.
The $740 billion defense bill includes several provisions notable to AFSA members, including a bill introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the Leasing Relief for Dependents of Fallen Heroesand Injured Servicemembers Act (S. 3854). The bill would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to allow dependents of deceased or catastrophically injured servicemembers to terminate car leases without financial penalty. Also, AFSA and others successfully removed an amendment from the final bill limiting arbitration for servicemembers in disputes covered under the SCRA. This amendment was contained in the previous version of the NDAA passed by the House earlier this summer. AFSA has long argued that restrictions on the use of arbitration clauses would harm, not help consumers.
A previously House-passed NDAA bill was accompanied by House Armed Service Committee nonbinding report language that directed the military to study the impact of a 30% interest rate on military readiness and servicemember retention. AFSA is currently working with the Senate Armed Services Committee to provide staff with a complete picture of this issue, including a recent study by the Federal Reserve focused on determining the different break-even points of annual percentage rates (APR).
Although the House secured enough votes to override a potential presidential veto this week, it’s still unclear if Republicans would vote against President Trump and uphold a future veto. AFSA is continuing to monitor the legislative process regarding NDAA as well as any potential coronavirus relief proposals circulating through Congress.
December 11th, 2020 by Dan Bucherer