Visits to Capitol Hill resume today. Yesterday, Realtor delegations from around the country met with their US Senators to discuss Federal Priority Issues important to real estate.
Connecticut Association CEO Cindy Butts meets U.S Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Iowa Realtors Mike Romig and John Goede meet retiring U.S Senator Tom Harkin.
This morning, NAR’s Public Policy Coordinating Committee met, and had the opportunity to hear from Dennis Shea of the Bipartisan Policy Center. He shared with us the BPC’s recent report, “Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy“.
Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney, wearing his “Homeownership is Not a Loophole” lanyard meets with Realtors from Eastern Connecticut.
First thing Wednesday morning, Realtors from around the country will be briefed for issue discussions with their Members of Congress during their Capitol Hill office visits.
Federal Priority Issues include:
1. Preserve the Mission and Purpose of the FHA Program. Ensure that the Federal Housing Administration single-family program has the tools and policies in place to meet its mission of providing access to safe, affordable mortgage financing to qualified borrowers nationwide.
2. Preserve Home Ownership Tax Policies. As congress considers proposals to reform the federal tax code, lawmakers should consider the vital roll that real estate tax provisions play in the nation's housing markets and economy, as well as the financial well-being of Americans and their families.
3. Restructure Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and Encourage the Return of Private Capital. Restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure that affordable mortgages are available to consumers in all types of markets, and to avoid a major disruption to the nation's economy that would result from the total collapse of the housing finance sector.
If you are not in Washington, be sure to thank the Realtors in your Board upon their return, for carrying your message to political leaders.
Midyear kicked off this morning with a forum on real estate issues in the 113th Congress. We had the pleasure of listening to Jeffrey Birnbaum, a commentator and analyst, and Congressman Randy Neugebauer from the 19th Congressional District of Texas.
Mr. Birnbaum got the crowd going with his comment, “Congress does TWO things; nothing and overreact.” Following a discussion of the challenges most presidents face in their second term, he recapped some facing President Obama right now. The budget deficit was front and center of course. Which raises the issue of bridging that gap and the solution that many seem to throw around in DC is the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID).
Birnbaum made the point that if Congress does the later, overreact that is, “You don’t want to be caught flat footed when they do!”
Thankfully NAR has been vigilant in their efforts to defend MID again this year. To learn more about the MID issue visit Mortgage Interest Deduction on REALTOR.org . MID will once again be a talking point at this year’s hill visits. You can download the talking point at Preserve Homeownership Tax Policies.