“Senator Jack Reed (D) RI leads the way with S.3179”
by Ken Smith
(excerpts from VFW On the Hill)
Yesterday afternoon the VFW joined Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., at the U.S. Capitol, where Reed formally introduced the Servicemember Housing Protection Act, S. 3179, alongside Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as well as Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and leading veterans’ advocates.
The bill seeks to strengthen protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, affording members of the military and their family members flexibility as a result of the turbulent nature of military service.
“Giving our troops time to prepare for deployment and get their financial affairs in order is central to mission readiness. Soldiers who are fighting on the frontlines to protect our country shouldn’t have to needlessly fight with creditors and landlords back home. We must ensure the laws that protect our troops keep pace with the challenges they face,” said Reed in a prepared statement. “The Servicemember Housing Protection Act will make it easier for servicemen and women to get their affairs in order with creditors prior to deployment, extend foreclosure protection to surviving spouses, and ensure they have the opportunity to move into on-base housing when it is available.”
The bill address three specific SCRA protections designed to make it easier for active-duty personnel to claim deployment-related financial and credit protections by expanding what could be submitted to constitute “military orders;” extend foreclosure protections to surviving spouses; and facilitate the transition from off-base to on-base housing by making it easier to terminate residential leases early and without penalty if on-base housing becomes available.
The VFW supported a recent amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, in the House, proposed by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., which was why the VFW was eager to lend similar support to Reed’s legislation. As the bill moves through the Senate, check back regularly with this blog for updates.