Welcome to the FPC
Program for the 115th Congress!
I want to extend a warm welcome to all of you as the 115th
session of Congress gets underway and you all begin a fresh term as Federal Political
Coordinators. Many of you are veteran experts and returning to continue to
serve NAR with your industry expertise, relationships and political know-how.
Another group of you are brand new to the FPC role. To you we say, welcome! Our
team has been busy this past year defending important Real Estate issues in
Congress. This bi-weekly newsletter serves as an information tool to keep us
all on the same page and working toward the same goals. After a dramatic
election season, NAR is excited to have our primary grassroots advocacy team at the ready
for all that is to come over the next two years.
You all should have received your FPC
welcome packet in the mail that includes your new FPC handbook, welcome letter,
FPC pledge and FPC pin. If you did not receive your welcome packet, please
contact Victoria Givens at email@example.com or
Don’t Forget to
Register! FPC Training and Policy Conference
The deadline to register for the FPC Training and Policy Conference February 6-9, 2017
February, 13 2017.
If you haven’t already done so, please register TODAY! FPC attendance is
required unless you have an extenuating circumstance. You will participate
in a full day of FPC training as well as hear from NAR’s government affairs and
political communications staff on policy issues we will be confronting in this
next Congress. Detailed agendas for the conference will be posted soon, but
in the meantime, here is an overview of what to expect.
Freshman FPCs arrive in the
evening (casual reception begins at 5:30pm)
7:30am-3:30pm Freshman FPC
Veteran FPCs arrive
5:30pm -8:30pm Federal Policy
Conference Reception and Dinner
*Dinner Speaker: Chuck Todd
7:30am-3:00pm NAR Federal Policy
7:30am-3:00pm Veteran FPC
The conference will be held at the Washington
Hilton Hotel, located at 1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 and
is approximately 5 miles from Reagan National Airport via taxi.
NAR will cover your expenses for two nights stay in the conference hotel,
your flight and meals while you are here in accordance with NAR's travel
NAR Member Expense Report
Congress Sworn In
This Week, Some Key Players to Note
An all-Republican Congress is
officially in session. Several
of you were in Washington, D.C. for the swearing in ceremonies on
January 3rd. Both
the House and Senate are eager to get started and it is important to know
some key players to watch as we get started. As you may know, every Committee in the House and Senate will now have a Republican
Chair and the following Committee Chairmen will be very important for
issues in the 115th Congress:
- Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) - will continue as Chair of the
Senate Finance Committee (tax issues).
- Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) will be the Chair of the
Senate Banking Committee (financial services and housing issues).
- Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) will remain Chair of the
Appropriations Committee (discretionary spending).
- Representative Jeb
Hensarling (R-TX) will again Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
- Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) will be Chairman
of the House Ways and Means Committee.
- Representative Rodney
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) will assume chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee.
REINS Act Passes U.S. House
by NAR, on January 5th the U.S. House of Representatives passed the
"Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act," H.R. 26 . The bill would require congressional approval of federal regulations
with an estimated annual economic impact of more than $100 million.
This bill will add transparency and accountability to the regulatory
process. For more on the bill, click here.
A Look Ahead at What to Expect in 2017
Next year, the two
biggest issues our industry will likely confront will be tax reform and
flood insurance reform, so ready yourself for a vigorous
and exciting new year. Please find below, useful information on
these policy issues with details of our accomplishments as well as thelegislative initiatives we plan to take on as we begin this 115th session of Congress.
2016 NAR Issue Brief Legislative and Regulatory Year in Review
If you have questions or need any additional
information on a specific issue please reach out to Victoria Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FPC Facebook Page
Do you want to network with other FPCs and be on the pulse of everything
happening in the FPC world in real time? Then join the FPC Facebook page! To do
so, login to your Facebook account and search “NAR Federal Political
Coordinators” in the search box at the top of your page. Then click “join
group.” It’s as easy as that. We look forward to seeing you online! If you have
any questions, please e-mail email@example.com.
Service Award Process and Deadline
will soon begin accepting nominations for the 2016 Meritorious Service Award.
Each year, NAR recognizes two outstanding Federal Political Coordinators for
their exceptional service to the National Association of REALTORS® with
this esteemed award. These recipients will be the best of the best of our
FPCs, those who truly believe in and advocate on behalf of the REALTOR®
Party. Recipients meet a rigorous set of criteria that set them apart from
other FPCs. To see a list of criteria for the MSA award click
Meritorious Service Award nomination form will be online through the Realtor
Action Center the first week of January, so be on the lookout. For more
information about the MSA award and process, please contact Victoria Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One accolade is worth mentioning this week. Illinois REALTOR® Nykea Pippion-McGriff, FPC for Congressman Bobby Rush, was named to the Illinois Real
Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board last week. Way to go Nykea!
Tips of the Trade
This Week: What to Expect the First Weeks of a Congressional Session
Q&A With Brad Fitch -Congressional Management Foundation
Q: What is the basic timeline for new Member offices to be
fully functional? Can you give us some benchmarks?
don't get committee assignments until the end of January or early
February. Staff will be fully hired in these offices no later than
mid-March. The biggest challenge interacting with Congressional offices is
the offices will not have an infrastructure fully in place until February
or March. They should have a scheduler on board by January, but they may not
have their full mail operation in place. However, this doesn't mean they
aren't reading the mail - they absolutely are. Members are still
formulating their position on many, many issues, but it is not really
until April or May that they are fully functional.
Q: In the past, there have been
challenges with technology. In previous sessions, it was months before a
Member had their website up and running. Will that be the case this year?
It gets better every year. The Senate is a little more uneven because
Senators have such wide flexibility to set-up their operations
independently; but House Members will have their sites up immediately.
Legislators inherit their predecessor's technology, so they have a basic
correspondence management system with which to work on January 6, though
some offices may choose to transition to new technology, which could
cause hiccups and delay their ability to be responsive.
Q: When there are leadership
changes, it can take months to get everything flushed out, particularly
committee assignments. With a leadership change in the Senate this
session, what is your sense of how long this process will take?
Well, the challenge in the Senate is some Members don't move into their
permanent offices until June, so new Members are put in temporary offices,
making the transition a little tricky. The House is different. In a
somewhat inglorious way, the losing House Members have to be out of their
offices by the end of November, offices are prepared in December, and on
January 6, the new Members are given the keys. From a committee
standpoint, from what I've heard, the process seems to be going along
very well. There don't seem to be any hiccups. I think Senators will be
in their new committees by mid-January.
Q: What tip would you give to people
who are trying to get their issues or messages in front of the new
Well, I'm going to offer an interesting dichotomy of advice, and it may
sound contrasting. On the one hand, they are difficult to reach because
they don't have their operations set up. However, it is very valuable to
reach them, particularly during the early recesses in January/February,
because they haven't staked out positions on key issues. Even if it
appears the office is being unresponsive, most of the time it is not a
case of malfeasance. They simply don't have the operational manpower to
field the calls and mail that hit them from day one. My biggest piece of
advice is to be persistent - if you don't get your first message
returned, follow-up with a phone call. Developing that relationship
early is the key to a long-lasting relationship.
Q: Good advice. Most of our readers
may not understand the chaos of the first 90 days because you don't
encounter the same chaos in the private sector do you?
we see the biggest failing is communicating the need for that type of
patience, not only to government relations professionals, but to citizens
who interact with Members of Congress. If you are part of a non-profit or
association trying to reach Congress on behalf of your members, the
citizens can get a little huffy if they don't get that phone call
returned. In today's day and age of the internet, we click a button and
expect a drone to drop something off at our house. Congress doesn't work
that way. It's more of a 19th century world, and they just don't have the
resources. So, it's important to communicate that just because that first
phone call isn't returned doesn't mean they don't want to build a
relationship. It just means they have another 30,000 phone calls and
messages that need a response.
Fitch is President and CEO of Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).
**FPC Weekly Newsletters are now online!
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