Reed and Brown Team Up for Military Families

Military families (and non-partisanship) were the victors in the U.S. Senate, as Democratic RI Senator Jack Reed and Republican Mass. Senator Scott Brown's bill to protect military families against predatory lending passed 98-1.


Senate Approves Reed-Brown Amendment to Strengthen Consumer Protection for Military Families

WASHINGTON, DC — In an effort to strengthen consumer protection and help prevent military families from being victimized by predatory lenders, the U.S. Senate today voted 98-1 to approve an amendment authored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Scott Brown (R-MA) that would create a military liaison within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).   This new Office of Service Member Affairs within the CFPB will be a consumer watchdog for military personnel that will help monitor financial scams targeting service members and their families and respond to complaints.

The Department of Defense and the Government Accountability Office have found that service members, who tend to move often and are frequently deployed overseas, are particularly vulnerable to deceptive and abusive financial products.  

“Our military men and women are doing everything they can to protect us, and Congress needs to do its job protecting them.  This new office would educate and empower service members and their families to make better and more informed financial decisions, and would work closely with existing personnel within the Department of Defense so there is not only a place to go with a complaint, but also proactive information to avoid some of these missteps,” said Reed, a former Army Captain.  “The military is doing its best to arm our troops with financial information and this Office of Service Member Affairs gives them one more tool to combat predatory lenders and other financial institutions that try to exploit military families.  This is one more way to provide needed assistance and support for our military families.”

“As a 30-year member of the National Guard, I have a deep interest and commitment to our nation's soldiers and their loved ones,” said Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). “They make extreme sacrifices to protect us, and we must recognize and honor their effort.  I am proud to have authored this amendment with Senator Reed who shares this commitment to our troops.  This bi-partisan amendment would deploy resources provided by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create a dedicated watchdog for military personnel and their families.”

Specifically, the Reed-Brown amendment would:

• Educate and empower service members and their families to make better informed decisions regarding consumer financial products and services;

• Help monitor and respond to complaints by service members and their families; and

• Coordinate efforts among federal and state agencies, as appropriate, regarding consumer protection measures relating to service members and their families.