211119 S 2792 FY22 NDAA Senate
November 19, 2021
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the substitute amendment to S. 2792, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022,” which would authorize $768 billion in discretionary spending for national defense commitments at home and abroad. Passage of this important legislation will strengthen and advance the National Defense Strategy and ensure that unfunded procurement, research, and readiness priorities of the services are met. This legislation should serve as a model for bipartisan cooperation as members of both parties have worked together to produce a bill that ensures that America’s servicemembers have the resources they need to defend freedom. We appreciate the Committee’s work in crafting this legislation and ask that you consider our recommendations.
We strongly support a robust defense industrial base and flexibility for federal contractors to provide the goods and services that the Department of Defense needs. Chamber members represent nearly all the federal contracting supply chain, from the smallest components to the largest weapon systems for the Department of Defense.
The House-passed amendment would also prohibit debt arising from medically necessary procedures from ever appearing on a servicemember credit report. The Chamber strongly cautions against the banning of reporting any information related to medical debt (or otherwise) to credit bureaus. This information enables creditors, such as banks and credit unions, to understand a borrower’s ability to repay a loan. Not only does this protect the safety and soundness of the financial institution, but it plays a critical consumer protection function since it helps institutions avoid extending credit to borrowers who are likely to default. And while the legislation limits the reporting ban to information relating to debt arising from “medically necessary procedure,” that term is constructed so broadly that it would cause significant confusion and prevent reporting of any information about medical debt.
The Chamber supports S. 2792, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.” We believe that passage of this bipartisan legislation is a critical step to ensuring our national defense commitments remain strong in a challenging global environment.
Neil L. Bradley