WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Servicemembers’ Credit Monitoring Enhancement Act, bipartisan legislation to provide free credit monitoring for all servicemembers and their families. Currently, only active duty servicemembers and members of the National Guard are eligible for free credit monitoring services.
“The brave men and women of our military represent the best of us and sacrifice so much in order to keep our country safe,” said Klobuchar. “We need to make sure we’re doing all we can to support them. By making free credit monitoring available for all servicemembers and their families, this bipartisan legislation will help provide peace of mind to those in uniform and military families when it comes to their financial security.”
“Our service members and their families put so much on the line to protect us and our way of life, yet their sacrifices leave them more vulnerable to financial fraud,” said Cramer. “Ensuring military families have full access to credit monitoring services will help keep their information secure.”
“We owe it to our service members and their families to make sure that their financial well-being is protected while they are protecting our country at home and abroad,” said Carper, a 23-year veteran of the Navy. “Military families are often more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches, which can expose personal data like sensitive financial and identification information. That’s why I’m proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation to expand access to free credit monitoring tools to more service members and their families, so that when it comes time to make critical financial decisions, they can feel secure.”
“As the son of a United States Marine, I know firsthand the great sacrifice made by servicemembers and their families. The last thing they should have to worry about is credit fraud or identity theft. I’ll always work to find common sense, bipartisan solutions for Montana military families who have given so much for our state and our nation,” said Daines.
The Servicemembers’ Credit Monitoring Enhancement Act would expand eligibility for free credit monitoring to military spouses and dependents 18 years old and older as well as all servicemembers, including non-active duty reservists.
The legislation is endorsed by 24 of The Military Coalition’s servicemember organizations, including Air Force Association, AMVETS, AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals, Blinded Veterans Association, Blue Star Families, Commissioned Officers Association of the US Public Health Service, Chief Warrant Officers Association of the US Coast Guard, Fleet Reserve Association, Gold Star Wives of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Marine Corps League, Military Chaplains Association of the United States of America, Military Officers Association of America, National Military Family Association, Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Reserve Organization of America, Service Women's Action Network, TREA: The Enlisted Association, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, United States Army Warrant Officers Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America. This legislation is also endorsed by TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
“The current law, known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, provides a safety net for most but not for all of our uniformed services as we would intend. The key to oversight is to expand the current law to include all servicemembers – a course of action TMC has long supported. We appreciate that this legislation also expands credit monitoring coverage to spouses and dependents of uniformed servicemembers,” said Jack Du Teil, President of The Military Coalition.
“Congress has long recognized that free credit reporting for active duty military can help keep service members informed about their financial health and offer some peace of mind while they focus on their mission. This legislation is a welcome expansion of those efforts that we are proud to support, providing more help to more service members and their families,” said TransUnion.
“We appreciate the many sacrifices made by our military service members and their families, and we are committed to helping them live their financial best by providing the tools that minimize their risk of fraud or identity theft. We recognize the burden of service not only lies on the shoulders of the service members but their families as well,” said Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax.
Klobuchar has long worked to support our veterans and servicemembers.
Last year, Klobuchar worked to successfully pass the SFC Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, historic legislation that will deliver comprehensive relief to all generations of veterans who were exposed to toxins for the first time in our nation’s history. The legislation, signed into law last August, included Klobuchar and Senator Mike Crapo's (R-ID) Toxic Exposure Training Act, a bipartisan bill to improve education and training for Department of Veterans Affairs health care personnel to treat illnesses related to exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances.
Additionally, Klobuchar recently introduced legislation to expand access to colorectal cancer screenings for toxic-exposed service members. The Barbosa Act, named after former Army Captain Rafael Barbosa, would authorize the Department of Defense to provide servicemembers who have been exposed to burn pits or other toxins with preventive colorectal screenings. Under the PACT Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs now considers any gastrointestinal cancer as “presumptive'' or caused by service and exposure to burn pits.
As a member of the National Guard Caucus, Klobuchar has been steadfast in her support of the Minnesota National Guard members. She worked to help upgrade Guard members by creating a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the National Guard and Reserves as well as improving federal-state military coordination in domestic emergency response scenarios.
Klobuchar has also worked to ensure equitable GI benefits for Guard members and Reservists and significant funding to upgrade National Guard equipment and facilities. Additionally, Klobuchar fought to secure regular funding to extend and expand to the national level Minnesota’s pioneering Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides community support to Guard members and their families throughout the deployment cycle.