NDAA passes committee as credit unions retain access to military bases

WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2019) — The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 was passed by the House Armed Services Committee, today, without language that would have granted banks the same rent-free access to land and facilities that credit unions have been granted due to their not-for-profit, member-owned mission and structure. Credit Union National Association, state League partners and the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) succeeded in working with Representatives to ensure such language was kept out of the final bill.   

“We’re pleased that Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Thornberry, and the rest of the House Armed Services Committee recognized the inherent differences between the credit union mission and structure and the profit-driven model that banks operate under,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We look forward to this bill passing the House, and we’ll continue engaging with the Senate to preserve credit unions’ ability to serve American servicemembers and their families.” 

The exemption, established under the Federal Credit Union Act of 1996, is restricted in scope to credit unions whose field of membership is at least 95% composed of individuals who are or were at the time of admission into the credit union military personnel, federal employees, or family of those who are or were. CUNA sent a letter this week noting banks currently have the ability to obtain the same type of waiver under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, but have not exercised this right.  

An amendment to the House bill sought to extend to banks the same rent-free access to land and facilities that credit unions have been granted as a result of their not-for-profit, member-owned mission and structure, which serves to enhance the wealth of servicemembers and their families living and working on those bases. 

The Senate version of the NDAA was released Wednesday and contains CUNA-opposed language that grant for-profit banks the same access as credit unions. CUNA continues to oppose this clause in the bill. 

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 135 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit


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