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.
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.
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%.
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.
As is required by law, the FHA recently alerted Congress that they have utilized 75% of their commitment authority for multifamily insured loans.
On March 4, 2013, NAR, along with 50 other members of the Coalition For Sensible Housing Policy, submitted a letter to federal regulators asking that the standards used in the recently released Qualified Mortgage rule (QM) be used to define the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM).
On February 27, Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Jason E. Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced HR 845 Known as the SHEILD Act. This legislation is intended to reduce litigation by “patent trolls” by making them liable for alleged infringers' court costs and attorneys' fees if their patents are found invalid or not infringed.