Army Secretary warns against Brownback auto dealer carveout

Army Secretary John McHugh said beefed-up consumer regulations of auto dealers would allow soldiers to continue "protecting our great nation."

McHugh urged senators this week to oppose a carveout for auto dealers from a new consumer financial protection agency. The White House, consumer advocates and many Democrats have criticized the proposed carveout backed by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)

"As auto loans are often the most significant financial obligations of our soldiers -- particularly within the junior enlisted grades -- we believe that greater government oversight of auto financing and sales of our soldiers will help protect them and reduce unnecessary financial strain on our already overburdened families," McHugh said.

"Protection from unprincipled auto lending enables our soldiers to concentrate on their primary mission -- protecting our great nation," he said.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) supports the Brownback amendment.

"Auto loans and leases are more affordable for consumers because dealers force lenders to compete for our customer's business," said NADA spokesman Bailey Wood on Wednesday. "Adding burdensome and expensive regulations on Main Street auto dealers will only make it harder and more costly for a family to buy a car."