Bill Poteet Goes To Washington DC
In Mid May, myself and approximately 8000 Realtors from around the United States swarmed our nation’s Capitol for the Realtor Party Convention and Expo. This is my favorite meeting of all Realtor meetings. I get to hear first hand from Senators, Congressman and women, Secretary’s of HUD, Treasury, Commerce, and more. Top economists including Dr. Lawrence Yun provide great information on the state of our economy, especially real estate.
At this year’s DC meeting I listened to numerous speakers discuss Congress’s current gridlock and what to expect in the coming months. I personally visited Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio as part of a Realtor leadership team from our great State of Florida. During a special luncheon for the Florida Realtors Major RPAC Investors I heard FHA Commissioner Carol Galante speak on her program’s status and the improvements needed to keep this valuable consumer product. She reported that this federal program much like Fanniemae and Ginnymae is now a cash cow for our US Treasury paying back the U.S. Government all billions that it borrowed during the financial crisis. The difference in this program between now and pre-recession is these government back lending programs are back to using conservative underwriting practices, thus fewer defaults in the loan portfolios. Preserving the mission of the FHA was one of our talking points with our U.S. Senators and Congressman.
FEMA was also there trying to explain all the recent changes it has made since Congress enacted the 5 year extension of Federal Flood Insurance (Biggers Waters) and the subsequent glitch bill entitled Grimm Waters that put a hold on excessive increases in your flood insurance premium. In my Land Use, Private Property, and Environment Committee meeting we discussed the Army Corp of Engineers recent push to regulate all waters, not just navigable. EPA is also pushing this discussion for if additional properties are added under the Corps jusrisdiction, EPA can also expand their regulatory reach. NAR is watching this extremely close to insure no adverse legislation comes from it.
Other issues we lobbied our elected officials was for was the extension of the mortgage debt forgiveness act, and the continuation of 1031 Exchanges for like kind investment properties. One of the Convention programs I missed was with Chris Matthews who reportedly wooed the crowd with his insights and perspectives. I did see David Plouffe & Steve Schmidt , two top Democract and Republican strategists, who gave a very forthright discussion on our government’s current malaise and what current issues both parties could come to agreement before 2016 elections. The discussion was sobering.
For our little center of the universe, Congress reported it was working on a Water Resource Bill which will help fund projects already approved in the Everglades Restoration Act. It has passed House and sits at the Senate for final passage, then on to the President’s desk for signature. This is expected to pass and be signed which will be great news for Southwest Florida.