CREF Policy Update Oct. 5: Congress Passes Stopgap Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown

1. Congress Passes Stopgap Funding Bill to Avert Government Shutdown  

On Saturday night, the U.S. House and Senate passed a Continuing Resolution that averts a government shutdown and extends Fiscal Year 2023 funding through November 17, 2023.

President Biden signed the bill into law before midnight on Saturday, ensuring that all the various government-supported segments of the mortgage market, including HUD (Ginnie Mae and FHA included), USDA, and the VA will continue to operate uninterrupted.

Importantly, the bill also includes $16 billion in disaster aid and an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until that same date, a provision that MBA has been strongly advocating for on both sides of the Hill and with both political parties.

MBA President and CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, noted this is only a short-term resolution and said MBA will remain directly engaged in all the conversations around government funding and the NFIP.

Broeksmit noted that MBA learned late last week that the Biden Administration has identified the Internal Revenue Service’s Income Verification Express Service (IVES) as an “essential” government activity that would continue to operate in the event of a government shutdown.

“As always, MBA stands ready to advocate for its members and their customers during these difficult times,” Broeksmit said.

For more information, please contact Bill Killmer at 202-557-2736, Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2816, Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913 or George Rogers at (202) 557-2797.

  1. Legislation Introduced to Expand Section 232 Loan Program

Last week, Reps. Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) introduced the CARE Act (H.R. 5648), which would make drug and alcohol treatment facilities and in-patient psychiatric treatment facilities eligible for the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Section 232 mortgage insurance. The bill would also allow healthcare facilities to use FHA Section 241 loans to improve facilities and prepare for natural disasters.

• Why it matters: FHA’s 232 loan program is critical to ensuring financing for residential care facilities for older Americans and those with disabilities. Expanding this program to include those being treated for mental illness and/or addiction will help provide access to healthcare for many in need.
• What’s next: MBA supports this legislation and will be closely monitoring its progress as a potential part of the House Financial Services Committee agenda in the coming months.

For more information, please contact Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736, Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2816, or Megan Booth at (202) 557-2740.

  1. SEC’s Gensler Testifies Before the House Financial Services Committee

On Wednesday, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler testified during an oversight hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. As expected, Republicans continued to criticize the fast pace of rulemakings at the SEC, as well as the lack of comprehensive economic analysis and how the rules might interact with one another. They were also critical of the SEC’s failure to respond to their numerous information requests. Most Democrats praised Chair Gensler for his work at the SEC and were concerned about the impact of a potential government shutdown on the SEC and market functioning; however, some Democrats expressed concern about the SEC’s approach in certain rulemakings, including open-end fund liquidity, conflicts of interest, custody, and private funds.

• Why it matters: In one exchange, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) asked if Gensler had consulted with Fed Vice Chair Barr on Basel III and its impact on CRE and how it interacts with the rules on conflicts of interest, private funds, and custody, emphasizing how these rules collectively would severely impact CRE. Gensler said that they have ongoing conversations with the Fed, but they do not consult with them on Basel III. A summary of the hearing can be found here.
• What’s next: MBA will continue its engagement with the Congress and the Administration and monitor developments and rulemakings that may impact on members. MBA may also connect with other trades to submit subsequent follow-up letters to further stress the industry’s position.

For more information, please contact Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2816, Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913 or George Rogers at (202) 557-2797.

  1. Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely single-family and commercial/multifamily programming that covers the spectrum of challenges, obstacles and solutions pertaining to our industry. Below, please see a list of upcoming webinars – which are complimentary to MBA members:

• From Policy to Practice – Fannie and Freddie’s New Radon Sampling Requirements – October 5
• Private Credit Finance 101: A Commercial/Multifamily Overview of Debt Funds and Their Importance in the Capital Stack – October 12
• Using Data Analysis as Part of a Strong Fair Lending Compliance Program – October 24
• Strategies for Serving Millennial and Gen Z Homebuyers – November 2
• CREF Career Conversations – November 9

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings by clicking here.

For more information, please contact David Upbin at (202) 557-2931.