Mark Up: The process by which a Congressional Committee or Subcommittee offer, debate, re-write and vote on amendments to proposed legislation. The House Financial Services Committee "marked up" two flood insurance bills this week and will "mark up" 5 more proposals next week.
On Thursday, June 15, the House Financial Services Committee
moved forward two flood insurance bills - The National Flood Insurance
Program Policyholder Protection Act of 2017, which NAR supports and and The 21st
Century Flood Reform Act, which NAR opposes. The remaining 5 bills under
consideration, which NAR supports, will be marked up on Wednesday, June 21st.
All of these measures are expected to be combined into one package for
consideration by the full House. A vote is not likely to come up before
they recess for the Fourth of July. Last week the committee held a hearing entitled
“Flood Insurance Reform: A Taxpayer’s Perspective.”
Lawrence Yun on Federal Reserve Rate Hike
The following is a
statement from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun on the Federal Reserve’s
decision on June 14, to hike short-term interest rates:
“The latest rate
hike is partly justified from ongoing economic expansion and also a steadily
falling unemployment rate. However, the Federal Reserve should be mindful of
the lower than expected rate of inflation and the consequent low interest rates
on long-dated bonds, like 10-year Treasury and 30-year mortgage rates. An
inversion in interest rates of short-term fed funds being higher than long-term
bond yields can easily pull down the economy into a recession. We are getting closer
to that inversion point.”
For more on MAR’s reaction to the Feds decision to raise interest
Reports Due Soon
The end of the 2nd quarter is fast approaching. Field
reports are due Friday, June 30th.
If you have not filed a field report for this quarter, please make time to do
so. I know many of you have been working hard in the district since your May
meetings. Please be sure to re-cap all that happened in May if you haven’t
already done so. Because of the legislative fly-in, I’m hopeful most states
will be 100% on their field reports this quarter. Let’s get it done!
Please remember that the system will time out at a certain
point so if you have a longer report or know you type on the slow side, I would
suggest writing your reports in Microsoft Word, saving your work and then
copying it into the template online. There is nothing more frustrating than
losing a field report after taking the time to sit down and type it out. If you
have questions about filing your report, please reach out to Victoria Givens at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-383-1021.
FPC $1000 Stipend:
Only a handful of states have requested reimbursement for
the May legislative meetings. Please submit your expenses to your state as soon
as possible so they are able to invoice NAR for your $1,000 stipend and help
defray the costs of your Hill visits in May. As a reminder to your Government
Affairs Directors, the deadline for submitting your invoices to NAR is July 3, 2017. If you have any
questions, please reach out to Victoria Givens at email@example.com or 202-383-1021.
Paper: The 5 Hurdles to Homeownership
This week, a new white paper was released titled, “Hurdles to Homeownership:
Understanding the Barriers” detailing that despite steadily improving local
job markets and historically low mortgage rates, the U.S. homeownership rate is
stuck near a 50-year low due to a mix of affordability challenges, student loan
debt, tight credit conditions and housing supply shortages. The research, which was commissioned by NAR, prepared by Rosen
Consulting Group, or RCG, and jointly released by the Fisher Center for
Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California,
Berkeley Haas School of Business, identifies five main barriers that
have prevented a significant number of households from purchasing a
more details about the white paper here.
VIDEO: Student Loan Debts Less of a Hurdle Under Fannie Mae Changes
NAR President Bill Brown credited
Fannie Mae this week for an upcoming change that will allow borrowers with
higher debt get a home loan, a move that reflects borrowers’ strengthened
credit profiles and is consistent with NAR’s effort to increase homeownership
among first-time buyers. Fannie Mae has also eased underwriting constraints to
help buyers carrying heavy student loan debt. Watch the VIDEO interview with Fannie Mae representative Jonathan Lawless detailing these changes.
Labor Department Withdraws Workplace Guidance
On June 7, 2017, U.S.
Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta withdrew the 2015 informal
guidance on independent contractor misclassification offering a victory to
independent contractors across the county. The Administrator’s Interpretation
2015-1 expanded the “economic realities” test used to define the term
“employee” for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), jeopardizing the
ability of employers to classify workers as independent contractors.
Secretary Acosta also withdrew the 2016 informal guidance ... Read
FPC Spotlight: It
is with the heaviest of hearts that we let you know of the sudden passing of
fellow FPC, Ilene Kessler. Ilene
was the longtime FPC for Senator Ben Cardin (MD) and one of NAR’s Meritorious
Service Award winners. Ilene personified all that was good about our
profession and was unwavering in her support for our association and its
members. Condolences to her family, friends, and the REALTOR® community
she touched. RIP Ilene. More
It is also with much sadness that we mourn with Nykea Pippion-McGriff at the tragic
loss of her son last week. Nykea is a standout FPC for Congressman Bobby Rush
(IL) and our NAR family expresses its deepest sympathy and support in such a
Tips of the Trade
This Week: Tips for Effective Follow Up
Are you at a loss as to how to follow up with your Member of
Congress after your May meeting? There are plenty of ways to engage, including
site visits and attending town halls. Below you will find tips on
effective follow up as well as helpful videos from our partner “advocacy guru,” Stephanie
Vance. All of these items and more can be found in the FPC Advocacy Classroom. It’s simple
- Decided you want to do a site visit?
No problem! Use this worksheet to get started.
As always, if you have any questions, reach out to Victoria
Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Note: The next FPC Newsletter
will come out on June 30th.
**FPC Weekly Newsletters are now online!