Legislation that would beef up consumer protections for service members buying life insurance and other products on military bases was passed unanimously by the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday.
The legislation contains stronger consumer protection provisions than one passed overwhelmingly by the House last June.
It is likely to face prompt Senate floor action, possibly before Congress departs for its July 4th recess.
That would set up a conference committee to resolve the differences between the bills passed by the two chambers, possibly before Congress departs for a month-long August recess.
The Senate bill is silent on predatory lending provisions contained in the House bill because the Senate plans to address that issue separately. These provisions govern such issues as payday loans that do not involve insurance products, according to one industry lobbyist.
The bill, S. 418, is also known as the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act. It was introduced by Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
It would institute a number of reforms designed to help state regulators and the Department of Defense police insurance sales on military bases and eliminate unfair or deceptive sales practices.
“I think the provisions of this bipartisan bill are crucial for the protection of our Armed Forces and their families,” said Sen. Enzi in his opening statement for the hearing.