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.
By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR Magazine®
Sustained job growth and improved access to capital are the two roadblocks to gettting the economy back on track, Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, Jr. (D–Mo.) told the Equal Opportunity-Cultural Diversity Forum Tuesday at NAR’s 2011 Midyear Legislative Meetings. Since 2007, 8.4 million jobs have been lost, he said. “While 244,000 jobs were created last month, this country requires a good deal of momentum for the economy to prosper,” Clay said.
He implored attendees to “mobilize, organize and, in the words of social reformer Frederick Douglass agitate, agitate, agitate” to further the interests of the real estate industry. He concedes that proposed legislation to require home buyers to make 20 percent downpayments could be an “overreach” in an effort to counter lax standards that contributed to the housing downturn. Clay encouraged real estate pros to reach out to members of Congress to raise their concerns about issues that could adversely affect home ownership, including challenges to the MID, GSE reform, and the impact of short sales on credit scores.