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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.

USDA Releases Census Data Guidance

March 29, 2013: 

On March 27, 2013, the U. S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development issued Administrative Notice (AN) 4711 regarding the use of 2010 Census data in the administration of direct loan, loan guarantee and grant programs across Rural Development programs.

Congress Grants Extension for Rural Communities

March 22, 2013: 

Last week Congress passed the Continuing Resolution, which funds the government for remainder of the fiscal year.

HUD Advises FHA Users of Possible Processing Delays

March 15, 2013: 

In an official letter to lenders, HUD Assistant Secretary and FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has advised of possible FHA mortgage processing delays due to the sequestration of 2013 funding which began March 1.

NAR Urges IRS to Recognize REALTORS® as Independent Contractors

March 15, 2013: 

On Friday, March 15, 2013, NAR submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service in connection with proposed regulations published on January 2, 2013, interpreting the Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Fees and Points Bill Introduced

March 15, 2013: 

On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and David Scott (D-GA) reintroduced the Consumer Mortgage Choice Act, H.R.1077.  The legislation addresses the definition of fees and points in a mortgage transaction under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The definition is critical to determine whether a mortgage is a Qualified Mortgage (QM) which requires that fees and point not exceed 3%.

H-2B Visa Program Hearing Held

March 15, 2013: 

On March 14, 2013, the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing on “Examining the Role of Lower-Skilled Guest Worker Programs in Today’s Economy,” which discussed H-2B visas.  This visa program meets demands for lower-skilled jobs not filled by Americans by providing temporary visas for non-agricultural workers.

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