Capitol Connection: Midterm Election Results and Affordable Housing
Good morning. The TV campaign ads are over, but don’t expect the noise to die down. With the election over, it is now game-on for 2020. On the day after one of the largest voter turn-outs in recent midterm elections, as well as the most expensive, we now see a House of Representatives led by the Democratic Party. It was last Thursday that the projections became much more defined for a country that was still leery of the 2016 polling forecasts. What crystallized then was a clear prediction that the House Majority would flip. Now, that has come to pass.
The shift in the balance of power in Congress will dramatically affect the final two years of President Donald Trump’s first term. In the U.S. Senate, it was projected to be tough for Democrats to achieve a majority. Democrats faced a narrow, but not impossible, path to winning back the Senate. Historically, the GOP should lose Senate seats during the first midterm of a Republican presidency, but Democrats had to play defense in 10 states Trump carried in 2016. They needed to run the table — flipping two GOP seats and holding onto their own vulnerable incumbents — if they were to win the Senate.
That would have required carrying Arizona, Indiana, and Nevada in addition to flipping one of the Republican strongholds of either Texas or Tennessee. In the end, the Republican majority held and even grew in the Senate for the 116th Congress next year. Below are the election results for some of the key Members who support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act:
House R’s: Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who took over for retired Rep. Pat Tiberi, lost his re-election bid. I am guessing that we can approach Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX) about being the Republican co-sponsor.
House D’s: 1661 co-sponsor Rep. Richard Neal now chairs the Ways and Means Committee.
Senate R’s: No losses other than retiring Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch whose replacement on that committee is still uncertain.
Senate D’s: Senator Maria Cantwell won her re-election bid.
The great news from these results is that we have several go-to Members who support affordable housing, and we will have a clearer roadmap for 2019 once all of the Committees are finalized. For now, the industry (http://rentalhousingaction.org/) must begin educating and re-educating bill co-sponsors in the next few weeks.
Both the Senate and House will return next week to start work on an extremely busy lame duck session.
We are pushing to find an opportunity to address HR 1661 and S48 (www.Congress.gov) and insert those bills (4% credit floor) into a year-end tax bill. The much talked about 10 percent tax cut for the middle class isn’t currently among the long list of tax bills that await Congress. Instead of the cut, there is bi-partisan support for a package of retirement savings changes that may fuel tax action. Congress will also be pressured to renew more than two dozen temporary tax extenders that expired at the end of 2017 and address the many technical corrections to the 2017 tax law that need fixes.
Let’s gear up in DC and most importantly, at home. To see how the Housing Credit has impacted your state, click here and share with your Member of Congress. As always, if you need a few tips on how to advocate effectively, drop me a line.
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