Holiday Wish: No More “My Dog Ate My Legislation”, Posted by Vince

Dog-homework_EditsMy wife and I are raising three teenagers, and we are constantly nagging them to finish their homework.   It seems that they are never truly motivated to finish their assignments until they are pushing up against a deadline.  Lately, Congress acts very much in the same manner, only acting in crisis mode at the 11th hour.   However, while our teenagers are rushing to complete their assignments to meet deadlines, Congress has been merely securing extensions to meet theirs.

I have one huge wish for the New Year and our new Congress:  Please, no more extensions and last minute band-aid fixes for important issues that that require long-term solutions.  The 112th Congress will have several assignments that have been left undone by their predecessors that are of great importance to the housing industry and our economy.

First, the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s)—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—have been in conservatorship since September 2008.   The Administration is due to release its blueprint for GSE reform in January.  Hopefully, this will jumpstart the debate for Congress to work on a long-term reform plan for these entities.  NAR will continue to advocate for position on GSE reform to ensure there is adequate capital in all types of mortgage markets and in all market conditions.

Second, the National Flood Insurance Program has been operating under a series of nine short-term extensions.  Even though the NFIP has been extended to September 30, 2011, Congress allowed the program to lapse twice times for weeks at a time and has not addressed key issues for its long-term fiscal solvency.  NAR will continue to push for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP to issue flood insurance policies, which are required in order to obtain a mortgage in nearly 20,000 communities nationwide.

Lastly, I wish Congress would please finish its work and provide much needed FHA reforms and make permanent higher conforming loan limits for high cost states.

If Congress can finish their assignments, the American people can finally graduate to a housing economy built upon true market confidence and sustained economic growth. – Vince Malta, 2011 NAR Vice President and Liaison to Committees

  1. Mary Ann McCarthy

    Outstanding message Vince. Thank you for giving it to our elected officials on behalf of our membership and the Country as well. It’s time for our legislators to do their job!

  2. Congress needs to open their eyes,if housing starts turning around,it creates jobs in constructon,retail,banking,insurance,manufacturing,and even govt. jobs.Make it happen congress,less talk and more walk the talk.

  3. Cynthia Carley

    Spot on, as always, Vince. Thanks for all the time you give to making sure pur industry interests are represented!

  4. I believe until we have elected officials who actually do their job, which is to represent their constituency. We have become a devided nation , matters that need to be resolved that affect the economy are delayed, mainly because the members of both parties want to remain in office and a correct vote that would all might not be what thier particular district does not want or even understands how the bill not being passed affects the entire nation.

    I am on the RPAC committee here in Utah and I find it difficult at times, because of how the recommendations for issues or officials to be voted for, I am certain that this also happens in other states. We as REALTORS® need to be proactive, but also be more willing to get the information as to what is happening out to the public and how the inaction hurts them as well as their neighbor.

  5. Cathy Scharetg

    well done Vince. Now from your mouth and our votes to their ears and collective agenda.I believe that we need to regain our economic strength at home so that we can grow strong once more internationally. There is no better way to do this than through the stabilization of the housing market and long range fiscal security of these legislations. Keep up the good work.