The Day After

The Day After

The dust has yet to settle on the 2018 mid-term elections, and in fact there are still a number of House and Senate races that have yet to be called. Nonetheless, we know that the Senate will remain in Republican control and the House will be controlled by the Democrats. We also know we have a lot of work to do to educate the many new Members of Congress about our affordable housing legislative agenda.

As I am always an optimist, let’s look at the positives from Tuesday’s elections. Our LIHTC champion, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) handily won re-election. We have been working with Senator Cantwell on our LIHTC agenda both for the lame duck session beginning on Tuesday, November 13th and for the next Congress. We are hopeful that she and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who is retiring at the end of this Congress, will be able to have some of our LIHTC agenda addressed in the coming weeks. Again, I am an optimist.

With the Democrats taking control of the House in January, it is likely that Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA) will become Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Neal has been a long-time champion for affordable housing, and is the lead Democratic sponsor of H.R. 1661, our LIHTC expansion bill in the House. We look forward to working with him in his new role and are fortunate to have the lead tax writer as an LIHTC champion – just as we have been with Chairman Hatch in the Senate. And, the change in House control will likely end — for the near term — threats to Private Activity Bonds. We also are encouraged that House Democrats have indicated they would like to address the nation’s infrastructure, including housing.

Of course, there must be losers in elections and we unfortunately did take some hits. Members of the House who lost on Tuesday included our lead Republican sponsor, Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and longtime supporters Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN). In the Senate, we say goodbye to Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), one of our strongest champions. Once all the races have been called, we will have a full accounting of our House and Senate cosponsors who will not be returning in the 116th Congress.

Based on our work in DC and your advocacy across the country, we are optimistic about the opportunity in the next Congress to make great strides on our affordable housing agenda. But to be clear, we have a lot of educating to do when the new Congress convenes in January, and look forward to working with you on those efforts.

Thank you for voting and for keeping affordable housing in mind when you voted.

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