Shaping Our Industry

Our members shape the commercial real estate finance industry with our advocacy initiatives. Through a collaborative process with our members, CREFC develops official policy positions that are presented as needed to legislators and regulators. These policies are developed through participation in our forums. CREFC also maintains fact sheets in online and PDF format on all major CRE issues and informs members weekly of the latest regulatory developments. To make a difference in the direction of our industry, sign up for a forum and participate in our advocacy efforts below. Contact David McCarthy with any CREFC policy or advocacy questions.

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News

Congressional Outlook  

April 9, 2024

The House and Senate are back this week from a two-week recess after funding the government.

What’s next: While the risk of a shutdown is no longer imminent, several difficult issues will confront lawmakers over the next few months. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) outlined his priorities in a Dear Colleague Letter last week.

  • Action on Ukraine funding is a top priority for many Democrats and Republicans, and while Speaker Johnson is supportive of Ukraine funding, action on it might prompt his ouster. More on this below.
  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expires on April 19 and progressive and conservative critics have demanded changes to FISA they claim will protect Americans. Proponents of FISA argue that some proposed changes will hamstring surveillance of foreign terrorists and adversaries.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization is needed by May 10.
  • Funding to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore could run into some partisan roadblocks.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment trial will likely begin Thursday. The Senate is unlikely to reach the 67-vote threshold needed to convict and remove him.
  • Additional Senate priorities include the bipartisan tax bill, the TikTok divestment bill, and appropriations for FY 2025.

Over in the House, Speaker Johnson is expected to take action on Ukraine funding, though it’s not clear how. The Senate-passed national security supplemental that packages Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan funding is the quickest path, as any changes would have to be reapproved by the Senate and face procedural delays by opponents.

  • Johnson has floated other options for Ukraine funding, including forgivable loans, in an attempt to compromise with GOP opponents of additional spending.
  • Israel funding may come under additional scrutiny and opposition in the wake of the accidental killings of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers by Israeli forces.
  • Any action on Ukraine will likely prompt action on a motion to vacate Speaker Johnson, which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) filed on March 22. Democrats are expected to save Johnson, though the situation is fluid. See the “Retirements” article below for more details.

Contact David McCarthy (dmccarthy@crefc.org) with questions.

Contact 

David McCarthy
Managing Director, Head of Policy
202.448.0855
dmccarthy@crefc.org


Congressional focus on Ukraine funding will be a major topic as Congress returns. 

 
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2023 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Congressional Outlook
April 9, 2024
The House and Senate are back this week from a two-week recess after funding the government.

News

House Retirements in Focus

April 9, 2024

Members of Congress are retiring at rates comparable to other cycles, but in this election cycle some lawmakers are making their exits a bit earlier than 2025.

What’s happening:

  • Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO): The Congressman from Colorado’s 4th district announced his retirement last November but resigned on March 23.
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced in early February that he would be retiring from the House at the end of his term. He then clarified that his last day would be on Friday, April 19.

Why this timing raised a few eyebrows:

  • If Gallagher had left the House just ten days earlier on April 9th, there would have been a special election to fill his seat as required by Wisconsin law. However, since he left after April 9th, the seat will stay vacant until November.
  • Rep. Gallagher has openly expressed frustration with his party about how they have been governing. Recently, he stated he wouldn’t commit to attending the party’s convention this summer.
  • The seat likely will stay in Republican hands come November, but candidates from both parties have declared interest in running for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District.

What this all means for Speaker Johnson and the Republicans:

The House is currently divided at 218-213 with four vacancies, which provides a challenge for Speaker Johnson who needs a two-vote majority.

  • When Rep. Gallagher officially departs on April 19, the majority will drop to one vote, a narrow margin not seen since 1919.
  • Speaker Johnson will have to contend with the motion to vacate from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The motion could be brought up as soon as Tuesday, April 9.

What they're saying: Rep. Greene contends that Speaker Johnson’s compromise with Democrats to keep the government open last month and his intention to bring additional Ukraine aid to the floor are reason enough to boot him from his post.

  • However, some Democrats have promised that if Speaker Johnson brings Ukraine aid to the floor they will protect him and table Rep. Greene’s motion.

When this margin won’t matter: Three special elections will take place between May 21 and June 25, which will likely add to the GOP majority.

If all these elections break for Republicans, as expected, Speaker Johnson will have a larger margin, though the fractious GOP conference will continue to create challenges for party leadership as votes on foreign aid and other program reauthorizations loom.

The bottom line: There may only be 81 legislative days left in the 118th Congress but there’s still time for additional precedents to be set, as Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster was a first.

  • The government is only funded through September 30 and legislators will once again need to agree to take action for FY 2025 or risk a shutdown.
  • The 2024 election 209 days from today.

Please contact James Montfort (jmontfort@crefc.org) with any questions.

Contact 

James Montford
Manager, Government Relations
202.448.0857
jmontfort@crefc.org

Midterm elections countdown calendar
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2023 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
House Retirements in Focus
April 9, 2024
Members of Congress are retiring at rates comparable to other cycles, but in this election cycle some lawmakers are making their exits a bit earlier than 2025.

News

Foreign Investment Legislation Sent to Georgia Governor; Notarization Bill Fails

April 9, 2024

As we have previously covered, the Georgia state legislature has been considering legislation that, if enacted, could have major implications for CRE attorneys and investments. The legislature adjourned March 28:

  • Limitations on foreign ownership and investment in real estate passed and were sent to the Governor (SB 420).
  • Closing procedures and remote notarization changes did not pass (SB 425).

Why it matters: The limitation on foreign investment and ownership in real estate follows the trend of 15 other states that have enacted similar provisions, most notably Florida SB 264.

CRE Closings and Remote Online Notarization: As proposed, Georgia SB 425 could have impacted the processes by which attorneys handle commercial real estate closings, including, but not limited to, multi-state, multi-property transactions. The bill also included criminal penalties for closing attorneys in the defined circumstances of this bill.

  • The Senate passed the bill 51-4, but the House did not act on the legislation before it adjourned.

Limitations on Foreign Investment in Real Estate: Georgia’s HB 1093 and SB 420 bills are part of a wave of legislation being proposed throughout the nation (including Florida) that aims to impose “restrictions on foreign investment in real estate.” SB 420 was passed by both chambers and sent to Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA), who has not yet signed the bill.

  • The bill would prohibit a “nonresident alien” of a foreign adversary from acquiring directly or indirectly any possessory interest in agricultural land or land within a ten-mile radius of any military base, military installation, or military airport. The definitions would also include U.S. legal entities with at least 25% of their ownership comprising “nonresident aliens.”
  • Criminal felony penalties could apply to persons facilitating transactions that violate the law, including commercial closing attorneys.
  • The federal government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) includes a review of foreign ownership of real estate near sensitive sites. State legislation could complicate this review process.

What's next: If Gov. Kemp signs the bill, it will likely face challenges in federal court.

For more information or to get involved, contact David McCarthy (dmccarthy@crefc.org)

Contact 

David McCarthy
Managing Director, Head of Policy
202.448.0855
dmccarthy@crefc.org
Farmland cross-section with a Chinese flag under it.
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2023 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Foreign Investment Legislation Sent to Georgia Governor; Notarization Bill Fails
April 9, 2024
As we have previously covered, the Georgia state legislature has been considering legislation that, if enacted, could have major implications for CRE attorneys and investments.

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Policy Fact Sheets

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For our weekly government relations and industry policy briefings, please visit our Document Resource Center. The Document Resource Center contains CREFC position papers, analyses, testimony, and other policy tools.

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Archive

Don't miss a beat! Remain informed on all things CRE and beyond by checking out CREFC's Archive Page. The archive houses legislative and political resources, developed and curated by CREFC's Government Relations team, needed to thrive in today's market.   

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