LAME DUCK SESSION
Although Congress usually focuses on spending bills during the lame duck session,
IREM members advocated to keep the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP)
from lapsing. If the program had expired by its November 30 deadline, flood insurance
would have become more costly or even unavailable.
Fortunately, another short-term extension was passed by Congress to keep the program open. It was the eighth short-term extension of the program since 2017. “
Although we will continue to advocate for legislation that includes long-term NFIP reauthorization, we greatly appreciate Congress not allowing the program to lapse, which
would have led to millions of citizens without flood insurance,” said Amy Hedgecock,
CPM, chair of the IREM Legislative and Public Policy Committee.
FRAMING THE ISSUES FOR 2019
Since there will be a divided government over the next two years, along with ongoing
and possibly new presidential investigations, the conventional wisdom predicts that
major legislative initiatives will fail to move through the lawmaking process.
The ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620), which addresses “drive-by” lawsuits, would fall under the major legislation category. The bill would close the loophole
in the law which has unintentionally produced the drive-by ADA lawsuits. The main
drivers in these lawsuits are attorneys who are forcing a monetary settlement consisting
mainly of attorney’s fees that only benefit the attorney and do little to increase access
for the disabled.
Passing the bill will be very challenging, as many House Democrats, who are now
the majority in the House, are aligned with disability groups that oppose the legislation. However, IREM and its coalition partners are already working with Senate Democrats on a separate ADA reform proposal. Senate Democrats have indicated they
are interested in developing language which would penalize lawyers who file frivolous
Infrastructure could be one of a few areas of partnership between Democrats and
Republicans, with members of both parties calling for improvements to the country’s
aging bridges, roads and airports. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has stated that
House Democrats will use their new majority to seek deals with President Trump on
IREM CONTACTING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
With many new legislators being sworn in, IREM and its members will need to introduce themselves to several first-term Congressional representatives in 2019 and possibly reintroduce themselves to other returning lawmakers. When the new Congress
convenes in January, 20 percent of its members will be new. In fact, Washington, D.C.,
What the Results Could
Mean to the Real Estate
and How IREM Will Stay
By Ted Thurn
With many new legislators being sworn in,
IREM and its members will need to introduce
themselves to several first-term Congressional
representatives in 2019 and possibly reintroduce
themselves to other returning lawmakers.
an unprecedented number of women to
Congress. More than 100 women will
serve as members of the House, surpassing last Congress’ record number of 84
women. Michigan notably went above
and beyond by selecting a woman for
every statewide office—Governor, U.S.
Senator, Attorney General and Secretary of State.