Legislative update, next steps & continued outreach needed

Legislative update, next steps & continued outreach needed

After another brief government shutdown in the middle of the night, Congress passed a massive budget deal early this morning that funds the government through March 23, 2018, suspends the debt limit through March 1, 2019, lifts budget caps for defense and non-defense spending for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, includes a robust disaster aid package for hurricane and wildfire relief efforts; and extends a number of tax provisions that expired at the end of 2016.

Our Senate champion Maria Cantwell (D-WA) worked very hard to include the affordable housing bill (S. 548) in that budget deal, but it was not included in the final agreement. We want to thank all of you who made calls and visits to Members of Congress urging the inclusion of the affordable housing provisions. We understand that as a result of your contacts, a number of Members expressed their strong support to House and Senate Leadership for the affordable housing package. While the provisions were not included in this budget deal, your efforts will be very helpful in the days and weeks ahead. In that regard, Senator Cantwell is aggressively looking for the next opportunity to move S. 548.

We also wanted to let you know that following the retirement of our long-time champion Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) has now taken the lead on H.R. 1661. Earlier this week, the industry (led by HAG chairman Bob Moss) met with Rep. Curbelo’s Chief of Staff to discuss Rep. Curbelo’s strategy for the bill. We look forward to working with the Congressman and our other key House cosponsors to advance our agenda.

We are keeping up the momentum as we head into the next six weeks to March 23, with renewed hopes of getting S. 548 and its companion, H.R. 1661, inserted into the omnibus spending bill and passed. The budget deal came about quickly, and we know that the omnibus package will be crafted quickly as well. We continue to encourage all of you to reach out to your Members of Congress, especially Republicans, asking that they urge Leadership to include the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act in any upcoming tax legislation. As Senator Cantwell said this week, be “battle ready.”

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