House Committee Approves Defense Bill That Would Provide Credit Unions—But Not Banks—With Free Rent

A House committee late Wednesday approved legislation that would continue to provide credit unions—but not banks—free rent on military installations.

Voting just before midnight, the House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the huge annual defense authorization legislation 56-0. The bill now goes to the House floor.

The bill does not change the rent provision that has been contained in the annual defense bill during the past several years. That provision provides credit unions with free rent on military bases as long as 95% of the membership serviced by the branch are military members. Banks are not provided with the same benefit.

The Senate version of the same bill would require the Pentagon to treat banks and credit unions the same when providing rent benefits. The Senate this week has been debating the defense bill on the floor.

The differences between the two bills make it likely that the rent provision will have to be settled in a House-Senate conference committee.

As in past years, banks and credit unions have been lobbying hard on the issue. Credit union trade groups contend that for-profit institutions such as banks should not receive free rent on military bases. Banking trade groups, on the other hand, argue that all financial institutions should receive equal treatment.


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