Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Tuesday, September 19, 2006



Why is Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), opposing legislation to protect service members?

By: Dorothy Finley and Bruce L. Dusenberry
Tuscon, Arizona
ASZTAMET dot com
via: Larry Scott---VA Watchdog dot org
September 19, 2006

It is highly unusual for the D.O.D. to ask Congress to place restrictions on private companies. But that is precisely what the Defense Dept. wants done with payday lenders, auto-loan companies and other predatory lenders.

In an August report to Congress, the Defense Dept. recommended that those firms be restricted to charging interest rates of no more than 36% per year to members of the military and their families. It also wants to prohibit companies from using postdated checks, access to banks accounts and car titles as security for loans.

The Defense Dept. gave several reasons for such an unusual request, including:

1. "Predatory lenders seek out young and financially inexperienced borrowers who have bank accounts and steady jobs, but also have little in savings (or) flawed credit or have hit their credit line."

2. Predatoy lenders target members of the military. Research has shown that lenders concentrate around military bases. Significantly, that research included Tucson, where the researchers found 12 more payday lenders around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base than would be expected based on statewide averages.

3. "Predatory lenders undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all-volunteer fighting force."

4. Predatory lenders charge high fees and interest.

As leaders in the DM-50 and members of Tucson's business community, we believe it is important to listen to the Defense Dept's. concerns about these companies that prey on members of our military. As a nation, and certainly as a community that hosts Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, we should all care about the well-being of the men and women who risk their lives for our country.

They deserve to be treated failry and with respect.

These bills are in Congress to address those problems, the significant of which is a bipartisan Senate amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill of 2007. This bill would cap interest rates at 36% for loans to military members and their families.

Since this provision was not included in the House version of the bill, a committee of members from both Houses is ironing out the difference. Arizona Sen. John McCain is a member of that conference committee, so he will be important to the outcome.

Unfortunately, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), chairman of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee opposes adding the provision to the defense authorization bill.

Observers believe his opposition could kill the loan-cap provision.

Buyer's spokesman said he doesn't oppose protecting service members, but that he believes any bill offering legal and financial protections for service members should first come through his Veterans' Affairs Committee.

That may be congressional procedure, but this is one of those cases where the end result---PROTECTION OF AMERICA'S MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN---is more important than whether a bill went through a particular chairman's committee.

We urge Rep. Buyer to let this bill go forward. And we urge Arizona's members of Congress, especially Sen. McCain, to back limits on predatory lenders.

After all, America's future depends on fair treatment for the men and women who volunteer to serve in our country.

***This is the time when the Republicans should be "Supporting Our Troops," like they claim they do. They need to do it by their actions and not their words, because, as we have found, there hasn't been any truth in the words of the Republicans for a very long time!


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