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May 26, 2017
Apartment Industry Reminds Lawmakers of Key Priorities
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As Congress approaches the Memorial Day recess when members will return to their districts for parades, town hall meetings and spirited conversations with constituents, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees used the last two weeks of May to hold hearings on tax reform – arguably Congress’ most significant priority apart from healthcare. As a number of factors have combined to potentially push legislative action until later this year, tax writers held hearings to examine key issues and build momentum for reform.

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Mnuchin: Housing Finance Reform a Priority in Second Half of the Year

Housing Finance Reform continues to be on the minds of many in Congress and in the Administration. At a May 18 Senate Banking Committee hearing, Secretary Mnuchin explained his thinking on GSE reform. On timing, the Secretary said housing finance reform would be a priority in the second half of the year. “We need to find a solution that creates necessary liquidity while making sure we don't put taxpayers at risk. And while we've been busy working on tax reform and focusing on regulatory issues, during the second half of this year I will focus on housing reform…”

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NMHC Insider
This Week in Washington
President Trump left for his first international trip this week, meeting with world leaders including the Saudi Royal family, Pope Francis, newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and culminating with the G7 Summit in Italy. While President Trump was making headlines overseas, Congress dealt with the release of the President’s budget and the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) scoring of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA).
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TAX REFORM
Senator Thune Introduces Tax Legislation Promoting Multifamily Investment
Senate Finance Committee member John Thune (R-SD) introduced legislation in recent days that would enhance and make permanent tax provisions designed to spur business investment. The Investment in New Ventures and Economic Success Today (INVEST) Act of 2017 would allow multifamily firms to garner additional benefits from small business expensing and accelerate cost recovery on other investments. While introduced as a standalone bill, Senator Thune said the measure is intended to be included in broader tax reform legislation expected from the Senate.
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REGULATORY REFORM
HUD Moves Closer to Regulatory Reform
This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) followed through on a Trump Administration directive requiring each federal agency to establish a task force committed to pursuing regulatory reform. The HUD team will work to root out regulations that should be overhauled or completely repealed because they are outdated, duplicate other federal efforts, or inhibit job creation. HUD is seeking comment from the public by June 14 to help assist in identifying regulations that are burdensome, ineffective, or run counter to HUD’s mission to “create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities, and quality affordable homes for all.”
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Trump Releases First Budget, Receives Cool Reception in Congress
President Trump released his first full budget this week, covering FY2018 for all Federal agencies. The administration’s budget traditionally covers a number of topics, including economic assumptions or projections in future years, spending levels across departments and within discrete programs, and policy changes the administration has made a priority. However, as Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) said in a press release, “The Constitution is clear in that funding decisions are ultimately in the hands of Congress.” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) was more direct, declaring the budget “dead on arrival” in the upper chamber.
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TELECOMMUNICATIONS
NMHC Files Comments with FCC on San Francisco Mandatory Access Law
This week, NMHC filed official 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, along with multifamily firms and other industry partners, argued that the market for communications services in the rental apartment industry is competitive in San Francisco and across the nation, and that ordinances like the one in San Francisco are unnecessary and ultimately harmful to consumers. To read NMHC’s full comments, click here.
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PATENT REFORM
Supreme Court Delivers Victory to Apartment Industry in Striking at Patent Trolls
This week, an 8-0 decision by the Supreme Court in  TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group handed a major win to apartment firms and other businesses when it ruled that that companies can only be sued where they are incorporated. The ruling cuts to the heart of the debate surrounding frivolous patent infringement claims being made against end users of technology products, including apartment companies and prevents patent trolls from venue shopping for friendly courts such as the Eastern District of Texas. 
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TELECOMMUNICATIONS
ConnectHome and EveryoneOn to Boost Broadband for Low-Income Residents
A program to expand broadband access and connectivity to low-income residents in HUD-assisted housing will expand to more communities. Broadband connectivity is increasingly important to all segments of the rental industry and NMHC/NAA continue to work with policymakers to bolster broadband infrastructure and enhance access for all residents.
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CYBERSECURITY
NMHC Launches New Cybersecurity Alert System
NMHC is launching a new cybersecurity notification system to inform members of real-time cyber threats.
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FAIR HOUSING
Recent HUD Actions Regarding Disparate Impact Webinar
NMHC and NAA invite you to join an expert presentation of the recent white paper entitled, Recent HUD Actions Regarding Disparate Impact,  on Thursday, June 1 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT.
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Upcoming Meetings

2017 Pacific Coast Builders Conference, June 28-29 in San Diego
 
NMHC PAC
NMHC PAC Spring Board Meeting Wrap Up
During the NMHC Spring Board of Directors Meeting, Sue Ansel, NMHC PAC Chairwoman reported on the PAC’s successful first quarter and highlighted the critical legislative debates that NMHC is taking part in on behalf of the apartment industry. Ansel, along with Doug Bibby, NMHC CEO, reported that NMHC PAC has raised $529,579, to date, thanks to an engaged and loyal NMHC membership.
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Hill Watch
House Small Business Committee: All Work and No Pay: Change Orders Delayed for Small Construction Contractors
Media Roundup
Central Pillar of House Tax Reform Plan Draws Friendly Fire
Politico
Paul Ryan Wants to Put Tax Reform on Trump's Desk by Christmas
CNBC
Treasury's Mnuchin on Tax Reform: 'Our Objective Is to Get It Done This Year'
CNBC
Mnuchin: A GSE Reform Plan Will Come This Year
Scotsman Guide
Mel Watt: GSE Reform Needs To Happen Soon
Mortgage Orb
Watt & Mnuchin Tackle GSE Reform
The M Report
FHFA Director Says GSE Reform is Needed Soon
Builder Online
Chinese Investors Among Majority Of EB-5 Visa Recipients
NPR
Fannie Mae Rolls out Healthier Housing Rewards for Multifamily Properties
Housing Wire
Fannie Mae EXCLUSIVE: The Crisis in Affordable Rental Housing
Housing Wire
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: Expect GSEs to Continue Paying Dividend
Housing Wire
The Scoop

Republican Gianforte Wins Montana House Race Amid Assault Charge

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.

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