Senate Passes Tester, Moran Bill to Expand Protections for Military Families Impacted by COVID-19

Bipartisan legislation to expand the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide additional legal protections for military families during pandemic

The Senate passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and provide additional legal protections for servicemembers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

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

“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.”

“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.”

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), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Tester has been leading the effort to ensure servicemembers and their families are not left to cover housing payments at their current duty station and at their intended Permanent Change of Station. He recently joined his House colleagues in calling on the Department of Defense to ease financial burdens facing servicemembers planning to relocate as a result of the stop movement order issued due to COVID-19.

A copy of the bill can be found HERE.