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June 6, 2014
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Senate Panel Votes to Extend TRIA for Seven Years

Copyright: Ferhat

This week in Washington, lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee voted 22-0 to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) (S. 2244), the federal backstop for terrorism insurance, for seven years.  The bipartisan measure was championed by Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and is expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate within the next few weeks.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program was first enacted in 2002 after insurers incurred $32 billion worth of claims from the 9-11 attacks. Congress renewed the law in 2005 and in 2007. The current program – that guarantees government reimbursement to insurers covering a terrorist attack after the industry’s aggregate losses exceed $100 million – is set to expire at the end of this year.  If it is allowed to expire, borrowers will be in technical default of their loan and will most certainly face other economic uncertainties.

In the House, while several bills have been introduced to simply extend the program, all serious attention is focused on a discussion draft expected to be introduced by Representative Randy Neugebauer, R- Texas, along with the support of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. That measure takes a distinctly different approach than the Senate bill and seeks to reform the program to reduce taxpayer exposure.

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NMHC Insider
FHFA Considers G-Fee Increase, Multifamily Not Impacted

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a request for input on a 10 basis point increase to the guarantee fee, or g-fee, for single family lending on June 5.  The move comes months after FHFA Director Watt delayed a similar move in January initiated by former Acting Director Ed DeMarco.

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HUD Appropriations Bill Clears Senate, House Committees

The spending bill funding HUD activities in FY 2015 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 5 following passage of a similar House committee bill on May 21.  The House bill will be brought to the floor for debate next week and the Senate bill is likely to be scheduled for floor debate in the coming weeks.  This will set the stage for conference negotiations between the two chambers in the summer or early fall.

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Obama Climate Plan Would Impact Energy-Efficiency Mandates
The Obama Administration addressed the issue of climate change this week with a 600-page Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule that would require existing power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030.  The proposal includes wide-ranging greenhouse gas reduction targets for states. Additional energy-efficiency mandates for buildings are likely to be one of the ways that states will be able to meet the new requirements.
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Get Out the Vote: Cantor and Warner Virginia Primaries Set for June 10th

This week, we are highlighting two important primary races NMHC PAC has been involved in, which are coming up on June 10. First, a strong supporter of multifamily, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will face off against Dave Brat, a tea-party backed opponent. Cantor has a great advantage in fundraising and currently holds a sizable lead.  Second, Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., is running unopposed in the primary, however, his challenge will come from Republican Ed Gillespie in the general election. Warner truly understands the important role of the multifamily industry and helped produce the Johnson-Crapo housing finance reform bill.  He is ahead by 19 points in early primary polls. For a full list of all Republican and Democratic primary and runoff election dates, please click here.

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Hill Watch
House Debate of FY 2015 THUD Appropriations Bill Begins, Mon., June 9
House Subcommittee Mark Up of FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, Tues., June 10
House Committee Mark Up of FY 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill, Tues., June 10
EPA, Corps Officials Testify Before House Committee on Potential Impact of Proposed Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Rule, Wed., June 11
Senate Committee Hearing on Nomination of Shaun Donovan to be OMB Director, Wed., June 11
Media Roundup
Tax Extenders Bill Will Await November Elections: Senator Reid
House GOP has Killed Immigration Reform in 2014
Huffington Post
Goodlatte Warns Obama Immigration Order Will "Undermine" Reform
The Hill
NFL and Developers Lobby for U.S. Terrorism Insurance
The Politics of Being Green
National Journal
The Scoop

Vultures Converge on K Street in Washington. Say What?
The media didn't waste any time this week in seizing upon the unusual sighting of vultures on K Street in Washington – and making comparisons with the powerful lobbyists that make their living in the corridor (ouch!).  And, as the following article also points out, did you know that a group of vultures is called a "committee"?  Read More

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