National Association of REALTORS® Mid-Year Meetings, Washington D.C.

NAR Mid-Year Meetings
& Capitol Hill Visits
Washington, DC
May 13-17, 2013

Fayetteville Association Attendees: Jimmy Townsend, Wendy Harris, James Sherrill, Zan Monroe, Jane Cannon, Debbie McFayden, Angie Hedgepeth

What Happended:  The Fayetteville delegation attended several meetings related to the real estate industry and government affairs.  On Wednesday, the Fayetteville group visited the Senate and House buildings to attend meetings with Senator Richard Burr, Senator Kay Hagan, Congressmen Mike McIntryre, Richard Hudson, David Price and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.  The federal talking points are…

  • Preserve Home ownership Tax Policies
  • Restructure Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and Encourage the Return of Private Capital
  • Preserve the Mission and Purpose of the FHA Program


Meeting: Real Estate Issues in the 113th Congress:  Federal Legislative & Political Forum – Current issues being debated in Congress could impact the real estate business and homeowners.

Speakers: Commentator and Analyst Jeffrey Birnbaum and Congressman Randy Neugebauer, (R) 19th Congressional District of Texas

Talking Points from Jeffrey Birnbaum:

  • We are in a 2nd term slump or curse in D.C., Obama hasn’t passed any new bills
  • The IRS scandal and Benghazi = bad news for the administration
  • The republican party is facing many challenges but will gain seats in the senate and house
  • Republicans are falling behind on campaign technology and any advantage is only temporary, there are also demographic problems with women and the younger generation
  • Question…why arn’t voters splitting tickets.  The answer is the Internet and party label
  • There are 3 scandals that threaten a run for a Hillary Clinton presidency (1) IRS scandal (2) Benghazi (3) Kathleen Sebelius (Health and Human Services Secretary) Sidebar:  A handful of congressional committees are looking into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ solicitation of monetary contributions from private companies to help fund an organization that promotes Obama care.
  • Obamacare is facing current uphill fights. People don’t understand
  • October1, 2013 is open enrollment and there are limited funds to educate the public
  • The roll out of Obamacare will be a problem, democrats are nervous
  • Senator Baucus (Montana) said on Obamacare…”this is going to be a train wreck”
  • 42% percent of Americans are unaware that Obamacare will be implemented
  • 18 to 29%percent think that Obamacare has been repelled

On Housing:

  • Jobs and housing numbers are upbeat
  • Receipts of houses sold are 16% percent higher in 2013
  • On the Mortgage Interest Deduction – NO ONE SHOULD TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.  MID’s for second homes could be on the table.  If tax reform moves…MID deductions could be removed.  MID is where the money is with tax reduction

Talking Points from Congressman Randy Neugebauer:

  • With Fannie and Freddie dominating the market, its hard to compete
  • We need to figure out how to bring competition back to the housing market
  • We need to create private capitol
  • Dial back firms with federal backing
  • Dial back Fannie and Freddie
  • Interest rates are historically low now and the feds will be forced to take money out of the economy.  They are in a conundrum.  I think you will see these rates for the rest of the year but may come up next year


Meeting: 360 NAR – A panoramic view of the real estate industry.

Speaker:  Richard Cordray, Director of the U.S.  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Talking Points:

  • We learned from you about the increasing foreclosure crisis and now we are out of the crisis and I saw how much real estate is critical to the economy
  • Foreclosure has left a mess in the market, consumers can’t buy even with a good credit history
  • We have a rule-making research team for mortgages etc., and to examine banks to see if they are complying with the law
  • We are also working with debt collectors on a new program…”Know before you owe”
  • New resources – has a consumer response team to help with the management of loans, banks, credit and mortgages
  • More finance education – education kids in school, we insist on this change
  • Please stay engaged with us.  The Consumer Bureau wants to see REALTORS® thrive.  You deserve it and the American consumers deserve it

Question – Are consumers really protected?
Answer – The market has cleaned up the bad actors.  Rules are now in place and there are no ninja loans

Question – What about short sales?
Answer – There will be NEW mortgage servicing rules in January 2014….

Question – Isn’t the Consumer Bureau going to make it worse?
Answer – That is not our intention.  Our rules will restore confidence.  We want to be accesible.  If the new rules are causing problems…we will make it right.


Talking Points with Senator Richard Burr:

  •  The 15yr mortgage deductible…little difference on the deal of a mortgage
  • We are currently 17 trillion dollars in debt – we have to track capital taxes…if we don’t, we won’t be able to restart this economy
  • We need entitlement reform.  Everyone needs to pay something
  • On the Mortgage Interest Deduction – there will be a discussion of how much and there will be a debate…be conscience…we may have to do something
  • There is a possibility of charitable deductions capped

Question – When will trend change with interest rates?
Answer – Call 1-800-psychic,  there is not a blueprint of what to do.  I don’t think you should take out a mortgage, mail your keys to the bank and decide I don’t want it anymore.

Question –  Beyond 50 employees with Obamacare the cost of healthcare…large businesses are reverting to cutting hours and hiring contract hires and part time employees. What is your view?
Answer – The Affordable Healthcare Act is law and it will take effect in January.  If they implement the plan…by May 2014 we won’t be able to pay it.  The subsidy money will be eliminated.  You can’t manipulate the market.  This will have a chilling effect on companies willing to invest.  This will be a permanent problem unless there is a failure in the system.  In the 2016 presidential race…this will be the campaign issue.  This is worst policy ever designed.

Quote – “Make no mistake REALTORS®, your presence here makes a difference.  You never ask for something unreasonable.  Thank you for being here.”


Talking Points with Senator Kay Hagan:

  • News that will affect housing
    * The news the President Obama has nominated NC Congressman Mel Watt to FHA
    * FHA – take steps to restructure and to encourage private capital
  • Top Issues are Flood Insurance and FHA – 20% percent downpayment would kill homeownership.  It’s very important to get good regulation
  • Sequestration is not the way to go…it’s stupid on steroids


Talking Points with Congressman David Price:

  • Fannie and Freddie are tough issues
  • We need a secondary market with a governmental role
  • Make no mistake the Home Builders Association and the REALTORS® Association have weight with these issues
  • We need to get the sequestration nonsense lifted
  • I’ve never seen it like this in Washington…this unwillingness to compromise on anything.  The parties are locked in place and there is total gridlock.  How do you lobby gridlock?
  • The republican party has this anti-tax ideology.  We need to come together on a budget….it’s there doing I’ll just say that.


For Further information or questions regarding this report please contact:

Angie Hedgepeth
Government Affairs Director
Fayetteville Regional Association of REALTORS®
(910) 263-2783/ (910) 323-1421
[email protected]



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".