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MAA Newsletter - 3/22/2018

03/22/2018 8:26 AM | Anonymous
     
 

Volume XII | Issue 12 | March 22, 2018

Today, the House passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through September 30, and the Senate must act by midnight tomorrow to avoid a government shutdown. This omnibus contains language tied to HUD funding for the remainder of FY18.

On Tuesday, March 20, HUD Secretary Ben Carson was the sole witness before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) in a hearing on the FY19 HUD budget.  Today, he appeared before the Senate Banking Committee in a hearing on the “Oversight of HUD.”

Meanwhile, voters in Illinois went to the polls on Tuesday for their primary elections and Republican Rick Saccone conceded to Democrat Conor Lamb in the “nail biter” recent special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district.

 

MBA Advocacy Spotlight

Senate Passes Regulatory Relief Bill
Last Wednesday, the Senate passed S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act by a bipartisan margin of 67-31. As introduced, this broad regulatory relief package contained several MBA-supported priorities including: SAFE Act Amendments to create a transitional authority to originate loans, consumer protections for Property Assessed Clean Lending (PACE) loans, relief from HMDA reporting requirements for some institutions, and a partial fix to TRID.

Before its passage, a substitute amendment to the bill was adopted, which preserved the important provisions of the bill noted above but also extends critical consumer protections to U.S. veterans who utilize the VA Home Loan program and promotes sustainable construction and development through clarification of the current High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) rule.

Industry advocacy played a key role in keeping the industry’s priorities front and center, leading to the inclusion of these important provisions in this legislative package.

Focus now shifts to the House, where a number of provisions contained in S. 2155 have already passed as standalone bills or as components of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-TX) sweeping regulatory relief bill, the Financial CHOICE Act. We will send out an update when more information is available and let you know how you can make your voice heard on this important legislation. Thank you to those who took action on these important issues! Your advocacy makes a difference.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Speaking at National Advocacy Conference
This year’s National Advocacy Conference (NAC) is being held April 24-25 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) will address attendees on the first day. He was the driving force behind the bipartisan regulatory relief bill that passed the Senate last week and as a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, he worked alongside Senate leadership to advance sweeping tax legislation that was signed into law late last year.

He continues to be a critical ally in MBA’s ongoing efforts to advocate for comprehensive GSE reform legislation, so this will be a great opportunity for NAC attendees to get an update about key issues before taking to Capitol Hill the next day to meet with their legislators about the real-world impacts legislation can have on their business and customers.

For more information about the National Advocacy Conference, and to register, please visit mba.org/NAC18 or contact Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2816.



Key MBA Action

House Passes Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act
Last week, H.R. 4545, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act passed on the Floor of the full House of Representatives by a vote of 283-133. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), addresses a number of important concerns about the manner in which lenders face regulatory scrutiny, including improving the timeliness of examinations, ensuring examiners adhere to their agencies’ standards, and creating a new, more independent examination appeals process. 

Originally introduced in December 2017 and passed out of the Financial Services Committee on March 6, H.R. 4545 amends the definition of “financial institution” to include depository- and non-depository lenders alike – as a result of MBA’s direct advocacy.  The MBA sent a letter of support for H.R. 4545 last week, a copy of which can be found here.

IRS Creates Tax Transcript Working Group
Recently, the IRS has created a workgroup of industry professionals, IRS leaders, and other experts to address issues within the IRS IVES program (i.e. tax transcripts). The Workgroup will discuss potential improvements to the existing tax transcript process. The IRS created this Workgroup in response to requests by the MBA and other organizations to address multiple inefficiencies and concerns within the existing process.

CFPB Issues Request for Information on the CFPB’s Adopted Regulations and New Rulemaking Authorities
Last Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Request for Information about the CFPB’s adopted regulations and new rulemaking authorities. This is the eighth in a series of RFIs announced by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. The RFI seeks to “assist the Bureau in considering whether it should amend any rules it has issued since its creation or issue rules under new rulemaking authority provided for by the Dodd-Frank Act.” The Bureau is not seeking feedback on the “Bureau’s rulemaking processes, implementation initiatives that occur after the issuance of a final rule, or the Inherited Regulations.” The Bureau will accept feedback on rules currently under assessment pursuant to section 1022(d) of the Dodd-Frank Act. The RFI will be open for comment for 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Indiana Approves Law Enabling Remote and Electronic Notarial Acts
Last Tuesday, Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB 372 which allows Indiana to join Virginia, Montana, Texas and Nevada in permitting remote online notarizations (RON). This is the first state in 2018 to enact such legislation and it was passed with only one nay vote across both chambers. It was also enacted shortly after the release of the National Association of Secretaries of State’s Revised National Electronic Notarization Standards. A coalition of members from MBA and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) worked together with the Indiana MBA to seek enactment of this new law, which embraces the MBA-ALTA model bill for RON released last December. Moreover, Section 61 of the law requires the Indiana Secretary of State to promulgate new RON rules, and Section 63 includes a new Chapter of Indiana statute for Remote Notarial Acts. This provision states that the new RON law will apply after June 30, 2019. SB 372 embraces the needs of a changing landscape that increasingly necessitates the use of online, mobile and other electronic means to serve consumers.  

 

2018 Elections Update

Senate

Florida:  According to a newly released Clearview Research poll (3/1-7; 750 FL likely voters), Gov. Rick Scott (R) has taken a 43-41% lead over Sen. Bill Nelson (D) if the pair were to face each other in the impending US Senate race. Earlier this month, an online Survey Monkey internet poll found the Senator owning a ten-point advantage. For his part, Gov. Scott has still yet to announce his Senate candidacy, but all political observers expect him to soon enter the race now that the legislature’s 60-day session has concluded.
 
Mississippi:  Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) at an event in the new Senator-designee’s home community of Brookhaven, a town of 12,000+ people located due south of Jackson on Interstate 55, announced that Agriculture & Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) will officially replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran (R). The move had been expected since Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) took his name out of consideration for the appointment. As has been known for just over two weeks, the 40-year veteran Senator will resign on or around April 1st because of health problems.
 
New Jersey:  The first New Jersey Senate race public poll release came last week when Quinnipiac University ventured forth with their new data (3/8-12; 1,052 NJ registered voters) testing Sen. Bob Menendez (D) and former Celgene Corporation CEO Bob Hugin (R). This is also the first political poll publicized since the Justice Department dropped federal bribery charges against Sen. Menendez. According to the poll, the two-term incumbent would lead the former pharmaceutical company chief, 49-32%, with Independents breaking for the Senator, 41-36%. Mr. Menendez begins the election cycle as the clear favorite for re-election.
 
Pennsylvania:  The biggest surprise at the statewide candidate filing deadline was businessman Paul Addis not entering the Republican Senate primary despite having invested over $1.45 million into his campaign. Raising only $12,000+ from other individuals and seeing his anti-Trump attacks not catching fire with the Pennsylvania GOP electorate, Mr. Addis decided not to continue his campaign. The development cements US Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazelton) as the prohibitive favorite to win the GOP nomination in the May 15th primary. He now faces only state Rep. Jim Christiana (R-Monaca). Mr. Christiana had less than $20,000 in his campaign account according to his year-end Federal Election Commission disclosure filing.
 
Utah:  Candidate filing also closed in Utah, and it is now clear that former presidential nominee and Massachusetts Governor won’t have a free ride in this year’s Republican primary. Though nine Republicans have announced their candidacies to oppose Romney, one individual with an electoral record has just stepped forward. State Rep. Mike Kennedy (R-Lindon), a practicing physician and three-term state Representative, announced his candidacy and will ostensibly oppose Mr. Romney. It is clear that Rep. Kennedy is his most substantial Republican opponent, but it is highly unlikely that he, or anyone else, will deny the former presidential candidate the Senate nomination. In the general election, his eventual opponent is likely to be Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson (D). Mr. Romney is the prohibitive favorite to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R).
 
House
 
AZ-8:  The next special congressional election, this one to replace resigned Rep. Trent Franks (R-Peoria), will be held on April 24th. With former state Senate President Pro Tempore Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) winning the special Republican primary on February 27th, she is the clear favorite to win the special general in what performs as a safe Republican seat. According to a new Lake Research poll (3/3-6; 400 AZ-8 likely special election voters), Ms. Lesko would lead her Democratic opponent, Scientific Review Officer Hiral Tipirneno (D), by a strong 48-34% margin.
 
CO-2:  Former University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse (D) comes a step closer to becoming the consensus Democrat to succeed Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder). Mr. Polis is leaving the House to run for Governor, leaving a safely Democratic open seat in his wake. Last week, Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen announced that he is ending his congressional quest. Therefore, Mr. Neguse now only faces former Boulder County Democratic Party chairman Mark Williams in the Democratic primary. Winning the June party primary is tantamount to capturing the seat in November.
 
FL-13:  Ex-US Rep. David Jolly (R-Pinellas County), who former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) defeated in 2016 after the Florida state Supreme Court handed down a new set of district lines that were unfavorable to a Republican candidate in this Tampa Bay area CD, has announced a decision about whether he will challenge his successor to a re-match. Mr. Jolly, who was constantly fighting with sectors of the Republican leadership, and then candidate Donald Trump during the presidential election, announced yesterday that he will not run in 2018. Even though he was the incumbent during the 2016 campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee refused to invest financial resources into his campaign, thus dooming the Jolly re-election effort. With Mr. Jolly left on his own in what is now a Democratic district, the party-switching former Governor Crist won, 52-48%. 
 
NJ-7:  It appears that Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) now knows the identity of his next general opponent even though the Democratic primary here isn’t until June 5th. Bank executive Linda Weber (D) announced that she was dropping out of the congressional race, after losing the official Union County Democratic Party endorsement by a single vote to former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski. Though at least three other announced Democratic candidates remain, Ms. Weber’s departure virtually cedes the party nomination to Mr. Malinowski.  We can expect a highly competitive general election campaign here later in the year.
 
NY-11:  Two polls were released that depict completely different political pictures of the impending Staten Island Republican primary battle between Rep. Dan Donovan and former Rep. Michael Grimm. According to a Barry Zeplowitz & Associates poll for the Donovan campaign (3/7; 400 NY-11 GOP primary voters), the Congressman would hold a whopping 60-21% advantage over the former US Representative who was only recently released from prison after his tax evasion conviction. But, a Big Dog Strategies survey (3/4-5; 446 likely NY-11 GOP primary voters) for the Grimm campaign finds the two candidates locked in a dead heat. According to these data, Rep. Donovan would cling to only a 35-34% edge over Mr. Grimm. The New York primary is June 26th. NY-11 is comprised of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.  It is the only Republican congressional district in New York City.
 
ND-AL:  Former state Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D-Grand Forks) announced that he will compete in the upcoming March 15-18 Democratic state Party Convention for the open at-large congressional district nomination. Delegates will vote to endorse a contender at that time. Most often, those not receiving the endorsement do not force a primary. State Sen. John Grabinger (D-Jamestown) and ex-state Rep. Ben Hanson (D-Fargo) are already in the Democratic race. The Republican endorsing convention will be held April 6-8. The seat recently came open when US Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-Bismarck) announced his challenge to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D).
 
Pennsylvania:  The much watched Pennsylvania special election went to Democrat Conor Lamb, who scored a bare 627 unofficial vote victory over state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Canonsburg) earlier in the week. It is likely the turnout will exceed 230,000 voters when all votes are counted and the military and overseas ballots are added to the totals. Once all votes are added to the total, the Lamb victory margin will approximately be 500 votes, much less than polling projected. 
 
Quickly, the focus will now turn to where Rep-Elect Lamb and Mr. Saccone will run in the general election. Mr. Saccone has already been circulating qualifying petitions in the new 14th District, the place where redistricting put 57% of the 18th District’s constituency. This seat is nine points more Republican than the current 18th, so Rep-Elect Lamb looks to be headed to the new 17th CD to challenge Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley). The 17th CD is a swing district much more favorable to a Democratic candidate, but it does mean Lamb will be forced to challenge a three-term incumbent with 56% constituent carry-over from his previous 12th District. Only 20% of the district that Lamb just won finds itself in new District 17.
 
PA-4:  With redistricting creating an open Democratic 4th District in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, former US Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) just filed a new campaign committee with the FEC and expects to soon announce his candidacy. Mr. Hoeffel was first elected to Montgomery County’s then-13th Congressional District in 1998 and served three terms before leaving to unsuccessfully challenge Sen. Arlen Specter (R) in the 2004 statewide election. Mr. Hoeffel would return to the Montgomery County Commission in a 2007 election, and then competed for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He retired from elective politics in 2012. Already in the campaign are state Reps. Mary Jo Daley (D-Narbeth) and Madeleine Dean (D-Abington), along with gun control activist Shira Goodman.
 
Governor
 
Maryland:  A new Burton Research & Strategies survey (3/4-8; 10-11; 600 MD registered voters) finds Gov. Larry Hogan (R) expanding his previously published polling leads over Democrats Rushern Baker and Kevin Kamenetz. When paired with Mr. Baker, the Prince Georges County Executive, Gov. Hogan scores a 50-29% major advantage. If Mr. Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive, were his opponent the Governor’s margin grows to an even larger 57-26%. Though Mr. Hogan’s approval numbers are among the strongest of all state chief executives, Maryland’s Democratic voting legacy will eventually make the general election a close affair. While seven other Democrats are in the gubernatorial race, including former NAACP President Ben Jealous, the Burton group only released numbers associated with Messrs. Baker and Kamenetz.

Advocacy Resources

Download the MAA App
The MAA App is designed to make standing up for the real estate finance industry easier than ever. On the MAA App, you can: 

  • Receive updates on bills affecting the real estate finance industry
  • Let your elected officials know how those bills will impact you directly
  • Research bills that MBA is watching
  • Find contact information for your members of Congress
  • Learn about MORPAC, MBA's political action committee 

To download the MAA App, text MAA to "31-31-31" or search the App Store or Google Play for "Mortgage Action Alliance". For more information about the MAA App, visit mba.org/MAAapp.

Help Us Strengthen the Industry's Voice
The most effective way for us to grow MAA membership is through peer-to-peer outreach from industry professionals like you. We have developed a MAA Campaign Toolkit that includes all the resources you need to run a MAA enrollment campaign at your company and get your colleagues signed up. 

You can also share this animated video with your colleagues, which outlines MBA's advocacy programs and the importance of getting involved! If you have any questions, please contact Peter Shapiro at pshapiro@mba.org or (202) 557-2933.

 

 

 

By responding to a Call to Action alert from MAA, opening an email from MAA, registering for an MBA conference or contributing to MBA’s political action committee (MORPAC), you are agreeing to renew your membership in MAA for one year (365 days) from the date of your action. Please note that you may terminate your membership at any time by emailing maa@mba.org. There are no membership dues.

 
 


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VERMONT MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION

Executive Director
Joshua Wolfe

+1 866-680-8622

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P.O. Box 7855
Portland, ME  04112-7855



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