Nussle: Keep bank land lease amendments out of FY25 NDAA

America’s Credit Unions President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote House Armed Services Committee leaders opposing any amendments to the FY2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from the banking lobby on Department of Defense (DoD) land leases. The committee is expected to mark up its version of the FY25 NDAA starting Wednesday.

“We thank the Committee for recognizing these important distinctions whether it is a large commercial bank or a small community bank,” Nussle wrote. “More importantly, with multiple global contingencies and force structure considerations, Congress and DoD have more pressing issues to consider. Thus, we oppose the bank lobby using this critical, must-pass defense bill as a shortcut to increase their profit margins.”

He noted that a DoD report requested in the 2022 NDAA “found zero instances where the current lease structure is 1) harming financial access to service members and their families, and 2) causing any base to go without financial services on the installation.

“Thus, DoD sees no need to change the status quo which should settle this issue so the committee can rightly move on to more urgent national security concerns,” Nussle added.

The DoD’s report also outlines the “in-kind consideration” process outlined in the report that for-profit banks could use to decrease expenses under the Military Leasing Act.

“Furthermore, we see no need to consume the committee’s time in developing a legislative formula to impose on installation commanders who are busy enough preparing for combat operations,” Nussle added. “We are concerned that this effort by ‘for-profit’ banks would amount to Congressional micromanagement of individual base commanders to solve a problem that the DoD has confirmed does not exist.”

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