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May 12, 2017
Mel Watt Testifies Before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
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Mel Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Thursday, May 12th. As part of his written testimony he highlighted the positive changes that FHFA has made over recent years and argued that as Congress considers reforms, these changes should not be discarded. 

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NMHC Looks Ahead to the 2017 Spring Board of Directors Meeting

Next week the 2017 NMHC Spring Board of Directors Meeting will bring together senior apartment executives from the industry’s leading firms. This meeting provides Executive Committee and Board members with an invaluable opportunity to candidly share information and insight on issues of common interest.

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NMHC Insider
This Week in Washington
The Trump administration and Republican Congress began the second week of May with momentum stemming from the successful passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through the House after weeks of debate. However, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the ensuing media firestorm pushed coverage of legislative and regulatory issues to the back-burner.
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House Republicans Release Flood Draft Proposal
This week, House Financial Committee Republicans released a summary document outlining their vision for reform and reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). With the program set to expire on September 30, 2017, NMHC/NAA has been working with lawmakers on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to ensure that the NFIP is reauthorized on a long-term basis and that affordable flood insurance remains available at all times, in all market conditions for every at-risk rental property. Additionally, NMHC/NAA have called for reforms of the program that will increase its ease of use, better mitigate the risk held by multifamily properties in flood prone areas, and continue to lessen pressure on taxpayers in the wake of a disaster. 
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NMHC Urges Member Action at FCC on San Francisco Mandatory Access Law
NMHC will soon file comments with the FCC to support a challenge to a recently-enacted San Francisco ordinance that could affect an apartment firm’s ability to manage broadband, video and communications services at their apartment communities. NMHC urges NMHC members to take action as well. The deadline for filing initial comments with the FCC is May 18, 2017 with reply comments due by June 9, 2017. It’s critical to note that although the challenged ordinance applies to San Francisco, it raises national concerns because similar proposals are under consideration across the country, and it involves federal regulations governing agreements between apartment companies and communications providers.
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Congress Averts Shutdown, President Signs CR Through September
President Trump signed a Continuing Resolution (CR) on May 5th, funding the government through the end of September, 2017. The CR was negotiated over a period of months, going back to the short-term extension agreed to in December, 2016. The bill is a significant departure from the “skinny budget” released by the President earlier in the year, which proposed massive cuts to a number of federal agencies and the outright elimination of certain programs. Instead, the CR substantially funds government activities at previous levels through the end of this fiscal year, including an extension of programs important to the multifamily industry including the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The bill also included a provision allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of Labor to raise the cap on H2-B temporary worker visas upon determination of economic need. This flexibility may prove important for the construction industry as many employment markets are showing increasing tightness.
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Upcoming Meetings

2017 Pacific Coast Builders Conference, June 28-29 in San Diego
NMHC PAC at Spring Board Meeting
NMHC PAC Committee is set to meet next week during the NMHC Spring Board meeting. Sue Ansel, NMHC PAC Chairwoman, will be reporting on a robust first quarter thanks to the engaged and loyal NMHC membership. 
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Hill Watch
House Committee on Appropriations: Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Hearing on "Emerging Transportation Technologies"
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing to examine "leveraging Federal funding, focusing on innovative solutions for infrastructure."
Media Roundup
HUD Rental Assistance Capital Investment Doubles From Last Year
Housing Wire
EB-5 Visas Attract Foreign Investment and Create US Jobs; The Program Needs Reform, Not the Chopping Block
Kushner Execs Pull out of EB-5 Roadshow Amid Ethics Fracas
The Real Deal
Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Is Back on the Table
The Real Deal
Mel Watt: GSE Reform Needs To Happen Soon
Mortgage Orb
Keeping Mortgage Giants Fannie and Freddie Under Government Control Is Increasingly Risky, Regulator Says
Market Watch
The Clock Is Ticking For Tax Reform
US House Tax Committee Sets First Hearing on Tax Reform
Tax Reform Is Coming: What to Watch
The Scoop

The Georgia Special Election is Now the Most Expensive House Race Ever

The special election for Georgia's sixth district is on its way to being the single most expensive House race in American history, according to calculations made by Politico.

If all current TV ad reservations are completed, the pricetag for the race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff will be $29.7 million -- eclipsing the $24.4 million spent on TV advertising in the 2012 Florida 18th district race between Rep. Allen West (R) and Patrick Murphy (D), according to stats provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. (In 2016, the most expensive House race was for Speaker Paul Ryan's 1st district, with a cost of $21.3 million.)

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