Each spring, REALTORS® and association staff across the nation prepare for our annual congressional visits in Washington, D. C. These visits, held during the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Mid-Year Meeting, give us an opportunity to have face-to-face time with our U. S. Representatives and Senators and communicate with our federal lawmakers about how certain issues affect consumers back home in their legislative districts and advocate on their behalf.
In advance of our congressional visits to know where our federal lawmakers stand on REALTOR® issues, HAR’s Governmental Affairs Department invited Jamie Gregory, NAR’s Chief Deputy Lobbyist headquartered in Washington, to share his behind-the-scenes insights with HAR’s Board of Directors, Federal Political Coordinators, TREPAC Trustees and politically active volunteers.
- Among the issues covered in his April 30 briefing held at HAR were the following:
- restructuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- reforming the Federal Housing Administration
- amending the Qualified Mortgage definition in the Dodd-Frank Act
- bolstering commercial real estate lending
- preserving the mortgage interest deduction
- preserving the property tax deduction
- maintaining the capital gains exclusion for sale of a principal residence
- clarifying EPA rules concerning renovation, repair, and painting activities in public and commercial buildings
As we meet with our members of Congress May 15 and 16, REALTORS® have an opportunity to influence the way a bill is written. These are not necessarily new issues, but ongoing issues to resolve and clarify. Having good relationships with our federal elected officials and their staffs is so very important and necessary. We look forward to our travels to our nation’s capital to further strengthen our relationships between members of HAR and members of Congress. Look in the July issue of the Houston REALTOR® Magazine for coverage of our congressional visits.