2015 FPC News

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.

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http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  Flood Insurance Update

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.”

Watch the Hearing

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

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For more on MAR’s reaction to the Feds decision to raise interest rates, click here.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  Quarterly Field 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 vgivens@realtors.org or 202-383-1021.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  FPC $1000 Stipend: Deadline Approaching

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 vgivens@realtors.org or 202-383-1021.

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  New White 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 home. Read more details about the white paper here.

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

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

http://www2.realtoractioncenter.com/images/content/pagebuilder/28022.gif  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 information…

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 difficult time.


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 to join!

  • 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 vgivens@realtos.org or 202-383-1021.


Note: The next FPC Newsletter will come out on June 30th.

**FPC Weekly Newsletters are now online!

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