Following the amendment approval, the Senate passed the full defense bill late Thursday night.
07/27/2023 1:15 P.M.
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Editor’s Note: After press time, the Senate passed its version of the defense bill 86-11. The Senate and House will next need to reach a compromise between their versions of the bill, The Hill reports.
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to update the Fair Debt Collection for Servicemembers Act passed in the Senate by a vote of 95-2 this week.
The amendment, led by U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., focuses on communication in connection with debt collection and prohibitions that a debt collector may not “threaten to have the covered member reduced in rank; threaten to have the covered member’s security clearance revoked; or threaten to have the covered member prosecuted.”
It is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Ted Budd, R-N.C., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The amendment is based on legislation previously introduced by Warnock.
ACA International supports the intent of the FDCPA for Servicemembers Act, but Warnock’s amendment covers industry practices already in place when working with servicemembers to resolve any debts, ACA previously reported.
“Senator Warnock is pushing for an amendment that already aligns with industry practices and requirements under the FDCPA and Regulation F. ACA members continue to support servicemembers and the special treatment that they deserve under several federal consumer protection laws,” said ACA CEO Scott Purcell. “It is unfortunate, however, that members of Congress continue to use rhetoric about the industry that does not take into account actual industry practices or what has been in law for decades to try to score political points.”
Consideration of the NDAA is often a longer process for the Senate than in the House, and the two chambers will need to reconcile their versions of the bill into one they can both pass.
The NDAA typically passes through Congress with universal bipartisan support, but the House vote earlier this month ended on party lines due to Democrat opposition to several amendments from Republican members, CNN reports.
Congress is days away from its August recess, and the Senate will continue amendment votes today, The Hill reports.