RPAC Washington Update: January 2024

NAR Policy Advocacy 2023 Wins

NAR’s federal advocacy team worked tirelessly in 2023 to protect the real estate sector and make progress on several priorities.

Although not an exhaustive list, check out the victories that REALTORS® can be proud of, including:

  • Fighting regulation that would drive housing providers from the market
  • Amplifying housing accessibility and affordability
  • Incentives to increase housing supply
  • Fair housing and homeownership opportunity
  • Preserving homeownership, property rights, & wealth accumulation
  • Shaping Congressional & administrative action


NAR Legislative Priorities 2024

An updated Priority Issues One-Pager and Talking Points document can be found on the NAR advocacy page here: https://www.nar.realtor/advocacy/federal-advocacy/nar-legislative-priorities These have been updated from the Summer 2023 Legislative Priorities and Talking Points.


FinCEN Issues Final Beneficial Ownership Access Rule

On December 21, 2023, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued the final Beneficial Ownership Access and Safeguards Rule(link is external) governing who will have access to the beneficial ownership data collected by FinCEN.

The Access Rule provides law enforcement, national security agencies, and other related federal agencies with access to the data. Additionally, financial institutions and regulators will be able to access the data consistent Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements. The beneficial ownership data is subject to strict security and confidentiality requirements as mandated by the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), and this Access Rule. The Access and Safeguards Rules is effective on February 20, 2024.

Check out the Federal Register(link is external) for more information about the Access and Safeguard Rule. NAR will continue to provide updates and information about beneficial ownership information reporting and compliance obligations.


NAR Voices Concern Over Proposal to Rescind Association Health Plan Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed to rescind the 2018 Association Health Plans (AHP) final regulations, which would have allowed real estate professionals and other small businesses to participate in an AHP.

Small businesses, including real estate professionals, are limited to Affordable Care Act markets, while large businesses can access more affordable and comprehensive health coverage through “large group” markets. AHPs help level the playing field by enabling smaller employers and self-employed individuals to band together into associations and “group purchase” from the same large group markets. It is seemingly unfair that American real estate professionals and their families are excluded from these high-quality, low-cost health insurance options simply because they are self-employed and thus considered “small businesses of one.” Read more…


U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Independent Contractor Rule

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the final independent contractor rule (link is external) assessing how workers should be classified under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) given the department’s concerns with worker misclassification. The FLSA is the law that sets standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, youth employment standards and other rules impacting employees in the private sector. The final rescinds the 2021 independent contractor rule (link is external) and applies a multi-factor economic reality test for determining whether workers should be classified as independent contractors or employees. Read more…


NAR Submits Comments on Bank Capital Proposal

NAR submitted a letter (link is external) to the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on their proposed amendments (link is external) to bank capital standards for large banks, also known as Basel III Endgame.

The proposed amendments change the risk weights for mortgages and servicing rights and would have a damaging impact on the mortgage lending markets, especially for first-time buyers, low- and middle-income borrowers, and minority communities. The changes would also affect lending for small- and medium-sized lenders who rely on warehouse funding. Read more..