A High-Level Meeting of the Minds

Filed in Capitol Hill, Leadership by on May 23, 2018 7 Comments
VP Mike Pece addresses NAHB leaders

NAHB leaders listen to Vice President Mike Pence in the Indian Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building in Washington.

If the clout of a Washington trade association is measured by its access to high-level policymakers, than the members of NAHB have much to be proud about.

This week alone, during the 2018 NAHB Spring Executive Board Meeting in Washington, builders met at the White House with Vice President Pence and top administration officials; discussed the housing outlook with the Fed chairman; hosted HUD Secretary Ben Carson at the National Housing Center; and held several meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“The fact that the National Association of Home Builders is so respected in Washington, D.C. is that the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve chair, the secretary of the Treasury, our U.S. trade representative and the vice president of the United States all want to hear what we have to say,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “They want to talk about our issues and really get something done. That’s unprecedented, and it shows you the importance of housing.”

On Monday, the NAHB leadership met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to discuss the housing and economic outlook and to provide the builders’ perspective on the strength of local and regional housing markets throughout the country.

The next day, the Executive Board traveled to the White House, where they received a briefing on major economic policy issues from Vice President Mike Pence and top Trump administration officials. The vice president and the team from the West Wing pledged to work with NAHB on key issues affecting the housing industry, including regulatory reform, workforce development and softwood lumber. Builders were also able to engage in a Q&A session and relay their top concerns as they relate to the housing industry.

Later that afternoon, scores of meetings were held with bipartisan congressional leaders on Capitol Hill to address NAHB policy priorities.

Regulatory Relief a Top Priority

On May 23, HUD Secretary Ben Carson spoke to the Executive Board at the National Housing Center and reaffirmed the administration’s support for regulatory reform.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson addresses the NAHB Executive Board as Chairman Randy Noel looks on.

Noting that regulations “act as a stealth tax” on all American businesses, Carson said that one of President Trump’s first executive orders was the “2-for-1” rule which stipulated that for every new regulation that is created, two must be eliminated.

“The president is very committed to your industry and understands you need and want regulatory relief,” said Carson. “At HUD, we think the time is ripe to conform to the president’s agenda on eliminating or streamlining regulations and create a more coordinated regulatory environment.”

Addressing other topics, the HUD secretary said:

  • It is his hope that housing finance reform will be back on the congressional agenda for next year.
  • HUD’s disaster response is moving quickly, and all $35 billion in the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief Program has been allocated.
  • The agency is making it a top priority to modernize FHA technology.

“Home building is the bedrock of this country,” Carson said. “It is a major mechanism for families to accumulate wealth. Thank you for your dedication for making the American dream come through for so many people.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Joe Honick says:

    These are great events, and the staff is to be congratulated. As the person who produced and chaired the most major international program for the Association: the World Focus on China Housing…I also think this great organization is losing some opportunities to encourage the same kind of international opportunities as other nations have found here. A little over 20 years ago, I chaired a study of foreign investment in the U.S. for the Natl Institute of Building Sciences(NIBS)and have written extensively on such opportunities while helping an association and a couple of companies work abroad. The power of the NAHB in this arena could be immense.

  2. Ron Jones says:

    Beware of artificial ingredients in Kool-Aid designed to keep those membership checks coming!

  3. Will Steed says:

    Please make the softwood tariff issue a top priority – lumber prices are killing us.

  4. Charlie Ruma says:

    Great meetings and hopefully some results. Your next meeting should be with EPA. The new storm water regulations are delaying our projects and are very expensive. They have gone too far”

  5. Stephen Smith says:

    Ohio is getting killed with the lumber tariff. Pleas help us get relief. We can’t bid homes that start in 3 month without stable pricing. Highest lumber prices ever in a relative soft market!

    • Will Steed says:

      Glad to know it’s not just our lumber companies here in Texas – sounds like we are all in the same boat: losing money on a massive scale.

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