Illinois REALTOR® Magazine | July 2013
By Michael D. Oldenettel | CRS, GRI, 2013 IAR President
Question: How do you know when REALTORS® have made an impression with Illinois’ congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.?
Answer: When there are so many constituents packing into meetings in a member of Congress’ office that even congressional staffers’ efforts to bring in more seating aren’t enough to fully accommodate the Illinois Association of REALTORS® members in attendance.
I had the privilege of joining nearly 250 IAR members who went to Washington in late May for the annual Midyear Legislative Meetings hosted by the National Association of REALTORS®. IAR’s members trudged from one side of the Capitol complex to the other as they filled lawmakers’ offices to overflowing in an effort to protect our industry.
Said one lawmaker of the show of force: “We should have arranged for an arena for this meeting.”
Each congressional visit was led by a Federal Political Coordinator (FPC) who made sure lawmakers knew where IAR stands on issues ranging from the Main Street Fairness Act to QRM standards (a requirement for 20 percent down payments), and from the property tax deduction to renewing and protecting rural housing loans.
The Washington visit comes at a critical time for Congress as it grapples with budget deficits. Because housing plays such an important role in the nation’s economy, some policy makers have suggested drastic tax code changes such as altering or eliminating the Mortgage Interest Deduction. IAR’s members disagree, and Illinois’ lawmakers clearly got the message.
Packed offices are a powerful signal.
Those numbers combined with REALTORS®’ votes and commitment to the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) show we are a force which can’t be ignored.
Illinois REALTORS® on Capitol Hill
REALTORS® attending NAR Midyear Meetings met with members of Congress to talk about industry issues. Photo Gallery