Congress is back in session in Washington and the National Association of Realtors® is working on a number of legislative priorities, according to NAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Shannon McGahn and NAR Vice President, Deputy Chief, Federal Policy and Industry Relations Joe Ventrone, who provided a federal advocacy update during the virtual Government Affairs Directors Institute last week.
Congress is currently negotiating a fourth round of stimulus funding to address the pandemic – dubbed “Phase 4.” The U.S. House of Representatives previously passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act which included several provisions supported by NAR. The U.S. Senate is expected to introduce its own Phase 4 legislation as the two chambers negotiate the final bill.
NAR sent a letter to both chambers highlighting its support of several provisions for the next pandemic response bill. These provisions include:
• Housing security – including mortgage and rental assistance, forbearance extensions, eviction moratoriums and housing counseling services.
• Market stability – consumer credit protections and mortgage market liquidity and regulatory relief.
• Business permanency – support for liability protections for businesses, unemployment assistance extensions, federal lending program modifications and permanent remote online notarization.
• Community durability – including expanded access to broadband and state and local government support.
It’s expected that the House and Senate will continue negotiations over the coming weeks as the chambers work to come together on a relief bill.
Beyond the pandemic response legislation, Congress also is starting to discuss spending bills to address the federal fiscal year ending on Sept. 30. NAR is advocating for a full, one-year extension for the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as infrastructure funding to expand access to reliable broadband. It’s expected that broadband access funding will be included in the transportation funding legislation.
Visit the NAR website for more information on NAR’s advocacy efforts.