Senate Passes Bill to Expand Servicemembers’ Legal Protections During COVID-19

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate passed S. 3637, to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and provide additional legal protections for servicemembers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This bill was introduced by Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to expand the SCRA, which provides legal protection to servicemembers to prevent them from being taken advantage of while on duty or deployed. The SCRA can postpone or suspend financial or civil obligations, including preventing foreclosures, evictions or repossession of a vehicle under the right circumstances.

The Senators’ legislation expands SCRA protections to servicemembers who were previously issued orders to change duty stations but, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, received a stop movement order and may have a housing or car lease in two different locations.

"I am pleased to see the Senate passed our bipartisan bill to protect servicemembers and their families during COVID-19 who have been impacted by orders to stay at their current duty station after they received orders and made plans to move," said Chairman Moran. “This legislation will provide additional legal protections and much-needed peace of mind for our military families who have financial or civil commitments in two different locations at no fault of their own.”

“I’m glad that the Senate came together to swiftly pass our bipartisan bill to provide military families with legal and consumer protections they deserve—especially in the midst of the global pandemic,” said Ranking Member Tester. “I worked quickly with Chairman Moran to craft this commonsense legislation to expand protections under SCRA for military families whose deployments and moves were disrupted by COVID-19, and provide much needed relief to our men and women in uniform. I’ll keep pushing this bill until it becomes law, and continue fighting to ensure those serving our country at home and abroad receive the assistance they’ve earned.”

The House version of this legislation was introduced by House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn) and Rep. Mike Levin (D-Calif.).

This legislation was cosponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

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