Lawmakers vote against servicemembers

Sens. Rounds and Thune and Rep. Noem recently voted against the rights of our military and in favor of business. House Joint Resolution 111 and Senate JR 47 overturn a rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that allows military personnel to sue when wronged instead of having to submit to arbitration.

Those protections are included in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), a federal law. It covers rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, evictions, installment contracts, credit card and mortgage interest rates, foreclosures, civil proceedings, automobile leases, insurance and income tax payments.

However, corporations use arbitration clauses in contracts with individuals that in essence nullify SCRA protections. Arbitration forces anyone with a dispute to settle the problem through an arbitrator. The corporation picks the arbitrator, time and location. Numerous instances have been reported where forced arbitration was harmful to servicemembers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a ruling earlier this year that would have outlawed forced arbitration, but the House passed a law to overturn it and last week the Senate voted with the House. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote that was along party lines.

 It's a sad day when Congress sides with corporations over servicemembers. As a retired servicemember, I find this offensive.

Hank Whitney


What happened to good role models?

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The majority of our society have always been good people with civility, integrity, strength, humility, compassion and honesty.

How then do we teach our young people today those traits when blaming others, bullying, threatening, lying, bragging, insulting and name-calling are prevalent today in our government out there for all to see every day? Add in a Congress that refuses to compromise or work together and whose members only seem to work to be re-elected. Where are our good examples and role models?

Let's make dignity, civility and honesty great again. Character matters.

Jo Ann Lux

Rapid City

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