2015 FPC News

Dear ,

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  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 vgivens@realtors.org or 202-3831021.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  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 is Friday, 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.

February 6

Freshman      FPCs arrive in the evening (casual reception begins at 5:30pm)

February 7

7:30am-3:30pm       Freshman FPC Training

Veteran FPCs arrive

5:30pm -8:30pm      Federal Policy Conference Reception and Dinner

                             *Dinner Speaker: Chuck Todd

February 8               

7:30am-3:00pm       NAR Federal Policy Conference

                             *All FPCs Participate

                             Freshmen FPCs Depart

 

February 9

7:30am-3:00pm       Veteran FPC Training

                             Veteran FPCs Depart

Other Logistics

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 policy.

NAR Travel Policy

NAR Member Expense Report

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  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 REALTOR® issues in the 115th Congress:

Senate

  • 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).

House

  • 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.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  REINS Act Passes U.S. House

Supported 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.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif 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 vgivens@realtors.org.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  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 vgivens@realtors.org.

 http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  Meritorious Service Award Process and Deadline

We 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 here.

The 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 vgivens@realtors.org.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  FPC Spotlight

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?


A: Members 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?

A: 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?

A: 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 Members?

A: 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?

A: Where 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.

Brad Fitch is President and CEO of Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

 

**FPC Weekly Newsletters are now online!

 
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