Washington– Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the National Guard and Reservist Debt Relief Extension Act of 2019 (S.2128) to reauthorize relief for qualifying members of the National Guard and Reserves experiencing financial hardship.
“Members of the National Guard and Reserves shouldn’t be punished financially for protecting our country. Our bill will ensure that qualifying National Guard members and reservists don’t lose the benefit of Chapter 7 bankruptcy protections if their temporary pay distorts their actual income,” said Feinstein.
The National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Act of 2008 created a temporary exception for members of the National Guard and Reserve who serve on active duty or in a homeland defense activity for at least 90 days. The current reauthorization expires in December 2019. The Graham-Feinstein legislation would reauthorize the measure for four more years.
Members of the National Guard and Reserves frequently receive higher pay while on active duty than they do in their civilian jobs. Without this legislation, the individuals who file for bankruptcy would be evaluated based on their current income in addition to previous active duty pay, placing them in a higher pay bracket than they can afford with their post-active duty income.
The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Kennedy (R-La.).