After weeks of uncertainty on Capitol Hill, it’s official that the new Speaker of the House is Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI). NMHC has a long history of working with Speaker Ryan, who is the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, on priority issues for the multifamily industry.
All eyes then turned to see who would be selected to fill his seat as chairman of Ways and Means and on November 4 it was announced that Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) was selected. Ways and Means is the oldest committee in Congress and serves as the chief tax-writing committee in the House.
The jurisdiction of the Ways and Means committee includes the critically important areas of revenue, appropriations and banking. And it’s important to note that the committee’s new Chairman Kevin Brady is also no stranger to NMHC. Over many years, the senior legislative staff has worked with him on numerous issues important to our industry.
Industry Priorities Take Center Stage in October
Speaker Boehner made good on his promise to “clean out the barn” before his departure. Just last week, the House and Senate passed a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal that was then signed by President Obama - removing the impetus for past financial cliffs. Included in that budget bill were new partnership audit provisions. Thanks to NMHC and other real estate groups, those partnership audit provisions were greatly improved prior to the bill being enacted into law.
In addition, the Senate and House have now both passed bills to strengthen information-sharing between the federal government and the private sector to combat cybersecurity threats. The NMHC staff remains steadfast in our efforts to ensure that liability protections are strong for those who voluntarily share information on cyber-attacks.
Last week, NMHC and NAA sent out a “Call to Action” on the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. We asked for direct support of legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to redraft their flawed rule. This will affect multifamily by significantly expanding the number of developers subject to federal permitting requirements. And on November 4, the Senate voted to throw out the rule. We remain hopeful that by the end of the year EPA will either be directed to rework their flawed rule or that the rule will be rendered moot due to lack of funding for its implementation.
The House also passed legislation reauthorizing the Highway Transportation Trust Fund that includes NMHC and NAA supported Section 8 reforms. It’s amazing what Congress can get accomplished when they work together. And as Congress steps up its activities, it’s even more important that NMHC government affairs staff stay vigilant in pushing for our key priorities and also guard against concerns that can harm the industry.
Upcoming December 11 Personal Dollar Event in Denver
On the political front, the final NMHC PAC Personal Dollar event of the year is set for December 11 in Denver, Colorado, for Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Lauren Brockman will co-host this breakfast event along with a growing list of industry leaders, including Sue Ansel, Daryl Carter, Alan George and Jeff Stack. Senator Bennet is a pragmatic, independent thinker with a business background. More information will be sent to NMHC members in the coming weeks.
If you have questions about NMHC PAC, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Costello, Vice President of Political Affairs, at 202-974-2325 or email@example.com.