The Washington Report covers legislative and regulatory policy activities, and is compiled by NAR's Government Affairs policy staff. To receive this content via email, subscribe to NAR's Weekly Report newsletter and check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
With NAR’s support, Representatives Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) have successfully attached an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to delay removal of “grandfathered” flood insurance rates for one year.
On Monday, June 3, 2013, NAR President Gary Thomas submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on further proposed revisions to the Ability-to-Repay or Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. These changes provide more flexibility for lenders to qualify borrowers under the QM safe harbor standard which provides certain protections from liability in connection with the ability to repay determination.
On June 6, 2013, Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Isakson (R-GA) introduced S. 1106, the “Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act”. The bill is an attempt to develop standards for valuing energy efficiency in the appraisal and mortgage underwriting processes.
On June 5, the White House announced an initiative to curb the use of patents by patent holders as a tool for "frivolous litigation," and to protect "Main Street retailers, consumers and other end-users of productions containing patented technology."
On May 14, thirteen U.S. Senators sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to Ms. Leslie Seidman, Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), expressing concern that the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) were preparing to release the latest exposure draft on leases, but had still not released a cost-benefit analysis of the lease accounting proposal.
In May, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released two memos providing guidance for government employee conference and meeting attendance.