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 Justin Ailes with any CREFC policy or advocacy questions.

Latest News

News

Aid for Ukraine, But Not Restaurants During Busy Week

May 23, 2022

Congress completed an active week of negotiations on China competitiveness, aid for Ukraine, baby formula, and responding to the Buffalo shooting. Additional pandemic aid for restaurants failed and demonstrated that more funds for COVID tests, therapeutics, and vaccines may not become available.

U.S. Innovation and Competition Act to Strengthen Supply Chains
Congressional leaders hope to complete House and Senate conference committee negotiations by June 21 on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S.1260). The legislation would strengthen supply chains, improve America’s competitiveness with China, and provide $52 billion in funding to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hopes to have the bill done by July 4 to celebrate “our new independence” from foreign-made microchips. 

Ukraine Aid
On Thursday, the Senate approved $40 billion in aid to Ukraine by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 86-11. The Associated Press reports that the funds include:

  • $24 billion for arms, equipment, financing weapons purchases, and paying for American troops deployed in nearby countries,
  • $9 billion in direct aid to Ukraine’s government, and
  • $5 billion for food to countries reliant on Ukraine’s food production.

Funds also help Ukrainian refugees in the U.S., seize Russian oligarchs’ assets, reopen the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, and prosecute Russian war crimes.

Now $54 billion has been pledged to Ukraine assistance, including $13.6 billion approved earlier this year. The amount is more than what the U.S. spends annually on all military and economic foreign assistance. On Wednesday, the U.S. embassy in Kyiv was reopened and the Senate confirmed Bridget Brink to serve as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, which has not had a Senate-confirmed ambassador in three years. 

Baby Formula
Congress also approved $28 million in emergency funds to FDA to address the nationwide baby formula shortage and passed legislation to remove restrictions on which formulas can be purchased under the WIC program during a public health emergency or product recall. 

Buffalo Shooting Response
Democrats responded to the racism that allegedly motivated the Buffalo shooter as the House passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act by a vote of 222-203, including just one Republican, retiring Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). The legislation would create offices within DHS, DOJ, and the FBI focused on domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Gun control advocates recognize that Congress is unable to do more to prevent gun violence, but Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) thinks Democrats should make gun safety a key part of their 2022 midterm message.

Restaurant Aid
A $48 billion bipartisan bill stalled after a 52-43 vote fell short of 60 votes required to provide additional funds for restaurants, small business, gyms, and music venues still impacted by the pandemic. The legislation would have replenished the pandemic-era Restaurant Relief Fund and provide $2 billion to gyms, $500 million to minor league sports teams, $2 billion for live performing arts venues. The lack of further assistance left restaurant lobbyists seething. SBA had announced that more than 278,000 applications were submitted to the program, but the agency was only able to fund approximately 101,000 of them. 

No Path for COVID Aid
Punchbowl News reports that Democrats on both sides of the Capitol are now skeptical that Congress will pass another round of COVID relief to replenish federal stockpiles of tests, therapeutics, and vaccines. Not enough Republicans support either the $10 billion Senate Republicans previously agreed to or the $22.5 billion Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sought to prepare for future needs. 

Contact

Justin Ailes
Managing Director, Government Relations
202.448.0853
jailes@crefc.org
Congressional leaders hope to complete House and Senate conference committee negotiations by June 21 on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S.1260).
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. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Aid for Ukraine, But Not Restaurants During Busy Week
May 23, 2022
Congress completed an active week of negotiations on China competitiveness, aid for Ukraine, baby formula, and responding to the Buffalo shooting. Additional pandemic aid for restaurants failed and demonstrated that more funds for COVID tests, therap

News

Gensler Seeks Larger Budget, Brushes Off Comment Period Criticism

May 23, 2022

At a Congressional appropriations hearing last week SEC Chair Gary Gensler pressed for an 8% budget increase to roughly $2.15 billion, stating: “We should have grown during these past five years. Instead, the opposite happened.” Gensler went on to note that the agency’s headcount of full-time employees has remained flat despite the growth of private funds and registered public entities during that period, according to Politico.

Comment Period Criticism
Republicans insisted at the hearing that the SEC is moving a partisan agenda with complex rulemakings with insufficient time for public comment. While extended comment periods are appreciated, they view the agency as doing too much too quickly, and not focusing on their core responsibilities to protect investors, maintain markets, and facilitate capital formation. 

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) questioned during the hearing whether the rulemaking staff is sufficient to deal with public comments. “If you’ve got about the same [level of] staffing, and the comment periods are less, give me an idea of how you think that dynamic is good for the end product of rulemaking.” Gensler responded that 140 people in the economic unit and 20-30 people in the general counsel office work on these rules and that SEC comment periods of at least 60 days is adequate for public comment.

Crypto Plans
The budget increase would allow the SEC to maintain its current services while adding roughly 250 full-time staff to support areas like digital asset oversight given its plans to require cryptocurrency trading platforms to register with the SEC. Gensler maintained that the platforms are trading securities rather than commodities under the SEC’s definition and should register; “They’re investment contracts. They’re securities. We’re trying to work with the crypto trading platforms to get them registered.”

 The Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC plans to add 20 investigators and litigators to its unit dedicated to cryptocurrency and cybersecurity enforcement, nearly doubling the unit’s size. Gensler said he worries that more investors will be harmed in cryptocurrency markets, after the collapse this month of the TerraUSD stablecoin. “I think a lot of these tokens will fail,” Mr. Gensler told reporters after a House Appropriations Committee panel hearing Wednesday. “I fear that in crypto…there’s going to be a lot of people hurt, and that will undermine some of the confidence in markets and trust in markets writ large.” 

Contact

Justin Ailes
Managing Director, Government Relations
202.448.0853
jailes@crefc.org
Republicans insisted at the hearing that the SEC is moving a partisan agenda with complex rulemakings with insufficient time for public comment.
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. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Gensler Seeks Larger Budget, Brushes Off Comment Period Criticism
May 23, 2022
At a Congressional appropriations hearing last week SEC Chair Gary Gensler pressed for an 8% budget increase to roughly $2.15 billion, stating: “We should have grown during these past five years. Instead, the opposite happened.” Gensler went on to no

News

New York – Revised Congressional Map Upsets Democrats

May 23, 2022

Last month, a New York state court rejected the proposed congressional map drawn by the New York State Legislature. In the opinion, the Court rejected the initial map because it heavily favored Democrats and violated the 2014 amendment to the State Constitution, which prohibits gerrymandering in the redistricting process. With this decision, the Court did two things;

  1. Moved the Congressional primaries from June 28 to August 23; and
  2. Appointed a special court master to redraw the Congressional map.

Last Monday, the new draft Congressional map was released. The new map would create 15 Democratic-leaning seats and five Republican-leaning seats, leaving six seats up for grabs by either party. Democratic lawmakers in Washington did not support the new map because it could pit incumbents against each other and prevent Democrats from picking up more seats upstate. If the map is finalized, as is:

  • Longtime lawmakers Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) would compete for the newly created 12th district. However, either could potentially run in the newly created 10th district. Both Maloney and Nadler have said they plan to run in the 12th.
  • Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced he is forming an exploratory committee to run in the 10th district.
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) announced he would run in the newly created 17th district. Maloney urged current 17th District Rep. Mondaire Jones to move to another district because he would be “ideologically better suited to another district”, which caused Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) to accuse Maloney of “thinly veiled racism” because the newly created 17th has three-quarters of Jones’s current district.
  • Maloney’s decision could cause Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) to compete against each other for the newly created 16th district.

In the fallout of the new map, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee implored the Court last week during the public comment period to reconsider the draft map and have the special court master change the map to prevent unnecessary competition between incumbents. The congressional map for New York is set to be finalized in the coming days. This is an ongoing story that CREFC will continue to monitor.

Contact

Chelsea Neil
Manager, Political and Government Relations
202.448.0857
cneil@crefc.org
Last Monday, the new draft Congressional map was released. The new map would create 15 Democratic-leaning seats and five Republican-leaning seats, leaving six seats up for grabs by either party.
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. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
New York – Revised Congressional Map Upsets Democrats
May 23, 2022
Last month, a New York state court rejected the proposed congressional map drawn by the New York State Legislature. In the opinion, the Court rejected the initial map because it heavily favored Democrats and violated the 2014 amendment to the State C

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