The Senate is expected to vote on the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217) this week. And unlike its House counterpart, the Senate bill does not exempt auto dealers from a new regulatory agency, which would have broad authority to regulate most financial services.

On April 21, NADA responded to a letter from The Military Coalition, a consortium of military and veteran organizations, sent to Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman and ranking Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, respectively, attacking an amendment to S. 3217 introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), which would exempt dealers from oversight under the new agency.

"The letter paints a distorted picture of the nation’s new-car dealers and their efforts to provide military personnel with access to affordable credit," said David Regan, NADA vice president for Legislative Affairs.

The NADA argued that the Brownback amendment is necessary because the broad authority granted to the proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection threatens to limit dealer-assisted financing and the convenience and competition this financing offers consumers, including service members. The NADA said the coalition letter failed to acknowledge that dealers are already subject to extensive federal regulation (e.g. the Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act) and are also subject to a full range of state consumer protection statutes.

The NADA’s Legislative Office launched a grassroots campaign in support of the Brownback amendment. More than 100 dealers will be on Capitol Hill Today to ramp up support.

Regan is urging all dealers to request that their senators immediately support the amendment. “We have made positive progress over the last week and need to continue to build broad bipartisan support for the Brownback amendment, which preserves affordable auto financing options for consumers,” he says. “Senators need to be reminded that dealer-assisted financing is often the most affordable and, in some cases, the only financing available to consumers.”